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Regina city councillors discussing increasing leisure fees for 2023-2024

The City of Regina is proposing a two per cent increase in leisure fees in 2023 and a three per cent increase for 2024-25. The increased fees are meant to align with inflation rates across the country, and will bring in an extra $675,000 in revenue for the city. Moises Canales-Lavigne / Global News

As inflation makes it more difficult for families to afford groceries or gas, it is also going to be affecting Regina leisure fees over the next two years.

The City of Regina is proposing a two-per cent increase in leisure fees in 2023 and a three-per cent increase in 2024.

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“Recreation services are now returning to near pre pandemic levels and the costs of providing recreation services are increasing,” the Executive Committee agenda for Sept. 21, 2022, read. “As such, Administration is proposing an inflationary increase based on the Consumer and Municipal Price Indexes.”

They say the proposed fee increase ensures cost recovery levels will remain stable coming out of the pandemic while minimizing customer impact.

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The fees are expected to bring in an extra $675,000 worth of new revenue for the city.

“The recommendations outlined in this report align with the City’s priority of improving financial sustainability by balancing community needs with cost to ensure residents have access to services at an affordable price while ensuring the services offered have cost recovery levels that are consistent with the benefits model,” the agenda said.

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The changes to fees are intended to address:

  • new facilities that will become available for use during the time period of the report
  • evolving operational practices/requirements
  • cost recovery levels
  • changes in the marketplace
  • parity across user groups and facilities.

The other options would be to introduce no fee increase or an even higher fee increase, neither of which the proposal feels benefits the consumer and the city.

They said keeping leisure fees unchanged would help keep prices fixed at a cost that is lower than inflation, but the option would not respond to feedback heard from user groups outlining the negative impact of COVID-19 on their organizations including the number of people who have returned to facilities.

While the proposed fee increase does not fully offset the rapid inflation that has occurred since April 22, they said an additional increase would help alleviate rising operating costs. However, introducing too much of an increase in fees could impact participation levels.

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The proposed fees would begin to take place on Jan. 1, 2023.

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