Guelph-Eramosa raises fees for some services

BRUCEDALE – Township council has agreed that fees will go up by 1.7 per cent on Jan. 1 for some Guelph-Eramosa services, while others will remain unchanged.

A report by parks and recreation director Robin Milne was approved at the Dec. 16 council meeting, including a recommendation to have no fee increase for renting the Rockmosa and Marden community centres.

Milne said a market study showed that township rental fees are in line with comparable municipalities, but that there are obstacles to increasing facility usage.

“We are not close to 100 capacity on halls, due to location and what we have to offer,” he said. “To be sure we remain competitive in this market and meet our projected revenue in 2020, a 0% increase is proposed for township community centres.”

He said there is competition from the private sector in neighbouring municipalities, and that rentals are limited by the lack of hotel accommodations and issues with rural services, like taxis.

He said township facilities are cost competitive compared to private banquet halls, including the ability for renters to operate their own bar.

The full listing of fees is in a bylaw passed by council, available on the township website in the Dec. 16 agenda.

Fees for active living programs offered by the township will have no increase, in an effort to build up the clientele, said Milne.

The fee for ball diamond use is being converted to a per hour rate, instead of per game, but not increased.

The cost of renting soccer fields will increase by 1.7%, the rate of inflation.

A 1.7% increase will apply to services at the Rockwood cemetery, to maintain cash flow for regular operations and sustain a care and maintenance fund.

Also increasing by 1.7% is the parkland dedication fee, which is paid to the township by property owners when their land is severed to create a new lot, or for larger developments.

The basic residential fee will now be $8,024 per unit.