Coldstream park fees increase
Coldstream is hiking up the cost to play.
Parks and public spaces fees are increasing 2.6 per cent for users looking to rent an entire area for an event such as a wedding, family picnic, event or other function.
“A group can use the park at anytime it’s just that they don’t have exclusive use,” said Mayor Jim Garlick.
The increase falls in line with Greater Vernon’s fee increase and is also lower than the suggested 5.6 per cent increase resulting from a cost analysis.
The 2.6 per cent increase could be changed depending on data collected.
“After we get a better handle on what it costs us,” said Garlick, as previous detail was not recorded under the former Greater Vernon Parks structure.
One fee that will remain unchanged is the special event rate for the full day rental of Lavington Park ($500).
But one councillor maintains that is still too onerous on community groups.
“You put these fees up and they just won’t do it,” said Coun. Maria Besso of events such as the Back to Earth Community Harvest Festival, which is not taking place this year.
If anything, Besso would like to see a decrease in the cost to use parks, not an increase.
“What this is doing is taking away the parks and greenspaces that we own away from the people and discouraging them,” said Besso.
“It stops community from happening.”
Besso suggests instead of giving grants to community groups, Coldstream should be giving them free use of parks and facilities.
“I find it discourages some groups from actually doing good things on the land.”