COURTENAY, B.C- The rental prices for recreation facilities in Courtenay could be going up in future.

On Monday evening, Courtenay’s city council were presented with a report from municipal staff on changes to the fees charged for rental of rec facilities in Courtenay. This includes facilities like the Native Sons Hall, as well as local soccer fields.

The full list of new prices can be found on page 264 of the municipal agenda: http://www.courtenay.ca/assets/City~Hall/Council/Agendas/2018/2018-11-19_Council_Agenda.pdf.

Overall, the rise in rental revenue from the raised prices is expected to be $8,500, or 3 per cent. Staff also want to evaluate the current fee structure.

“Staff believe that a more thorough evaluation of our fees and charges should be undertaken to remove

historical anomalies, reflect current market rates, and to compare to other municipal rates,” read the agenda.

“This study is proposed to be initiated in 2019 with existing resources and would result in a report to council if rate adjustments are warranted. The existing rates are loosely based on market rate for commercial bookings, a 25% discount for private bookings and a 50% discount for community bookings. The 2019 study would establish the commercial rate and determine the implication of using this approach consistently.”

Council took the price raises and passed them, though final approval is expected on December 3rd. The move for staff to review those fees was also passed.

After the meeting, Mayor Bob Wells described the change in fees as an update to avoid the city getting “caught” by the price of inflation. He also said the changes were not raising prices astronomically, and said it was a way to make sure the city was “keeping up”.

During the discussion on the matter, the idea of unifying recreation access across the Valley communities was also raised. Wells is hopeful that can be achieved, indicating that local municipalities are all moving towards a common software platform.

“If we do move to a single software provider for all of the rec providers in town, that provides that opportunity, hopefully, that we can have that shared pass, that can be used at every facility in town,” said Wells.

He stated he would raise the idea with the Comox Valley Regional District.