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Recreation discounts, program priority at play for Vernon residents

New tiered system would give Vernon residents a 50 per cent discount on recreation services
Tiered recreation fees will see Vernon residents receive discounts to take a swim, lessons or rentals. (Morning Star file photo)

Living within city limits will have greater benefits for Vernon residents.

A new tiered recreation pricing system is coming to play featuring 50 per cent discounts on recreation services for locals.

Along with the half price admission and rental rates, Vernon residents get a 25 per cent discount for recreation registered programs.

They also get access to register for programs two weeks ahead of non-residents.

“All our services continue to be open for everyone,” said Jason Blood, recreation services director.

Discounts and program priority come into effect Jan. 1, 2024.

Municipalities and electoral areas would be given the option to enter into a fee for service agreement that would entitle their residents to the same benefits as Vernon residents.

Non-Vernon residents, as well as residents of municipalities and electoral areas that don’t participate in a fee for service agreement, would have the option to pay an additional fee to gain equal access to recreation services.

Households would be able to purchase a Vernon Resident Pass access card for $800 per year that would allow all family members to receive early access and discounts. Or, individuals could purchase an organized sport pass for $375 per year.

There are some details that still need to be worked out, particularly with minor sports bookings, where changes don’t come into effect until September 2024.

“How are we going to be able to confirm which player is a Vernon resident and which player isn’t a Vernon resident,” Coun. Kari Gares asked at the Oct. 23 council meeting.

Blood says meetings with different sports groups will be taking place to explain the process, but the onus won’t be on the groups but individuals.

There are also some spaces, such as the Greater Vernon Athletics Park and Creekside Park which are in Coldstream, therefore booking details need to be investigated.

A report to council notes the 2023 recreation-based tax burden on Vernon residents is about 7.3 per cent of total taxation, equalling an average of about $300 per household annually to support recreation services.

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Jennifer Smith

About the Author: Jennifer Smith

Vernon has always been my home, and I've been working at The Morning Star since 2004.
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