There will be no increase in admission for public swimming at the Vernon Recreation Complex.

There will be no increase in admission for public swimming at the Vernon Recreation Complex.

Fees frozen for public skating and swimming

Lacing up skates at the rink or splashing around in the pool won’t cost more.

The Greater Vernon Advisory Committee has approved parks and recreation fees for 2011/12, and those for public programs will be frozen.

“That will be for public skating and public swimming,” said Al McNiven, parks and recreation administrator.

It was decided to hold the line on public admission partly because of the economy impacting families, but also because of reduced sales at the gate.

“Participation dropped in 2010 and we’re trying to increase those,” said McNiven.

For rental of fields and facilities, fees will climb two per cent.

“I don’t like raising anything but our costs, like Hydro, are going up and the money has to come from somewhere,” said director Jack Gilroy.

Increased costs for operations are a concern for director Mike Macnabb.

“If we’re not getting use of facilities, maybe we just can’t have (staff) wages going up,” he said.

Labour makes up about 45 per cent of the function’s budget.

The North Okanagan Regional District contracts recreation services  to the City of Vernon and the city determines salary levels.

“Most of it comes down to the level of service we want in our facilities,” said Wayne Lippert, chairperson.

Director Patrick Nicol is pushing for more corporate sponsorships for programs.

“We need to find a way to keep costs down,” he said.

In terms of people registering for sports and using facilities, Nicol also insists ways must be found to expand capacity.

“There are young people out there that could be enticed to participate,” he said.

 

The new fee schedule begins  Sept. 1.