Vernon Aquatic Centre forced to cut hours and raise fees

Cutbacks for aquatic centre

There will be some changes coming to Vernon's Aquatic Centre, which could include cutting hours of operation and increasing fees. The proposed plan will be presented to council on Monday afternoon.

The cause for these changes is the need of an extra lifeguard, which would cost about $43,000. The need for the additional lifeguard is due to the BC & Yukon Branch of the Lifesaving Society change, which now requires the ratio of one lifeguard for every 40 patrons in the pool. This will require an extra 1,300 hours, costing an estimated $43,000.

"We're looking at taking a balanced approach," says Doug Ross, the Director of Recreational Services. "We are recommending to cut back on hours, and unfortunately have a small increase on entry fees."

The options given to reduce hours are closing the pool half an hour earlier on Monday to Thursday, and one hour earlier on Fridays for the rest of the year. They also aim to eliminate the afternoon swim on weekends during the summer, which means Toonie Swim will be gone. These cutbacks are estimated to save about $23,000.

To cover the final $20,000, administration is recommending increasing fees by 4 per cent for aquatic services.

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