Recreation fee increases, program cuts proposed as pandemic hits City of Vernon coffers

Rec cutbacks proposed

The COVID-19 pandemic has taken a bite out of Vernon's recreation budget.

At Monday's council meeting, staff informed civic leaders about proposed fee increases as well as program cuts due to a fall in revenue.

A proposed five per cent fee increase will make up some of that shortfall.

“It is anticipated that administration would not be able to operate the service at historic service levels and balance the budget. Because of this, and as directed by council and the elected officials in Greater Vernon, the proposal includes reductions in the level of services offered to the public and numerous budget adjustments,” a report from director of recreation services Doug Ross stated.

Those budget adjustments include:

  • Reducing major maintenance project budget by $500,000
  • Defer transfer to vehicle and equipment reserve
  • Eliminating arena event advertising
  • Cancelling an aquatic centre Wibit inflatable rental
  • Eliminating furniture purchases
  • Increasing fees for programs and services by five per cent
  • Reducing operating hours of the aquatic centre on weekends to 4 p.m.
  • Reducing operating hours of the arenas to 9 p.m.
  • Closing the Priest Valley Arena from May to September
  • Reducing staff training
  • Defer purchase of a Sport Floor for Kal Tire North
  • Defer hiring of a staff Position
  • Reduce aquatic centre advertising

Budget deliberations will be held Nov. 30 and Dec. 1.

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