Changes coming to fees for HRM sports and recreation programming

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Fees for sports and recreation programming in Halifax are changing, with some increasing and some decreasing. The new rates will come into effect next spring.  (CBC - image credit)
Fees for sports and recreation programming in Halifax are changing, with some increasing and some decreasing. The new rates will come into effect next spring. (CBC - image credit)

Fees for sports facilities and programs in the Halifax region are changing.

The new rates will take effect April 1, 2022. Regional council approved the changes Tuesday.

The manager of recreational programming said in some cases, such as ice rentals for adults, the rates will go down.

"Adult prime-time arena fees per hour are higher than the cost recovery needed," said Angela Greene. "So the fees will be lowered to reflect the costs and the users will see a savings."

But other facilities and programs, such as all-weather sports fields and swimming lessons, will see significant increases to be phased in over three years to lessen the impact.

There will also be a change to tennis court charges. Those who teach tennis book HRM courts for the lesson time. It has been a $25 a day flat fee. The new fee structure will have hourly rates for youth, adult and corporate categories. That would mean an all-day booking could cost up to $78.

"What we are hoping is that if people are booking the time, they're going to be strategic," said Greene. "So they wouldn't be blocking off entire days."

Based on 2019 usage, all the changes will increase revenue for the municipality by $378,879. There will also be annual fee increases of two per cent starting in 2023. Recreation officials have set up an affordable access program that will provide a 50 per cent discount to those in need.

The fees only affect facilities owned by the municipality.

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