A new fee schedule will go into effect at the Castlegar and District Community Complex starting Sept. 7, maintaining the same basic rates that have been in place since last year. However, you will now have some other options available, including drop-in, punch passes, and monthly and multi-month memberships.
The new fees, approved Thursday by the Regional District of Central Kootenay board, will also see rates standardized at rec facilities in Castlegar, Nelson, and Creston. Salmo residents will continue to pay less because they don’t have a year-round aquatic centre.
In Castlegar, a single admission for adults under 75 is $7, while youth ages five to 18 pay $3.50, and children under five get in free along with those 75 and up. These rates were temporarily set when the complex reopened its fitness centre to pre-registration in July 2020. The pool reopened in October, also through pre-registration.
“Recreation services at the RDCK are funded through a combination of user fees and taxation so that recreation is subsidized by the community for the benefit of the community,” RDCK community services general manager Joe Chirico said in a news release.
However, the different user categories are subsidized at different levels. Under the new rate schedule, preschool children and those 75 and over are entirely subsidized. Youth ages five to 18 are subsidized at 75 per cent and adults 19 to 74 at 50 per cent.
Those levels were fixed with the aim of reducing barriers to children and youth.
“Research has shown that individuals who are introduced to activity and recreation as children or youth are more likely to continue to be active as they age, which means better health and wellness outcomes,” Chirico said. “Eliminating the fee for children under five takes some of the burden off young families to participate in recreation.”
Two previous fee categories, student and senior, have been rolled in to the youth and adult categories.
The RDCK pegs the average cost of recreation at $14 per person per single use of aquatic, fitness, and arena drop-in programs per day.
Staff plan to monitor the financial performances of the rec facilities through the first quarter of 2022 and propose further adjustments for the second quarter of 2022. Annual passes are not currently available, but staff will be working on reintroducing them.