Fees to play in Burnaby to increase two per cent
It still won't cost visitors anything to get through the gates at Burnaby Village Museum next year, but fees for most of the city's other recreation and cultural services and facilities are going up two per cent.
That includes a ride on the C.W. Parker carousel, which will increase to $2.55 on Jan. 1 from $2.50.
Fees for other facilities and services, like booking ice at city arenas, renting Swangard Stadium, admissions to public skating and the price of swimming lessons, will increase as of Sept. 1. Some fees won't rise at all and a few will increase more than two per cent to "catch up," said Sav Dhaliwal, the chair of the city's parks and recreation commission.
All the new fees will be published in the Fall/Winter edition of the Leisure Guide, which is available in August.
Dhaliwal said when considering the fee increase, city staff canvased rates for similar facilities and services in neighbouring communities, as well as what Burnaby residents get for their money.
"Staff has maintained over the years we're not the most expensive, or the cheapest," said Dhaliwal. "We're sort of in the middle."
But for that, residents are getting some of the best facilities in the region, said Dhaliwal. And they're responding by keeping facilities busy and programs well-subscribed.
"The usage we get out of those facilities is an indication that they're affordable," said Dhaliwal. "They add to the quality of life in our city."
As for the museum, what began as a pilot project three years ago to increase attendance has become so popular Dhaliwal said he'd like to extend the free admission for "as long as we have reasonable finances."
Dhaliwal said it costs the city about $400,000 a year to subsidize the operation of the museum, of which about $60,000 is recouped from concessions and the gift shop. That's about the same amount the city put up when there was an admission charge and fewer people visited.
He said it's been a worthwhile investment.
"It has opened up the hidden treasure of Burnaby," said Dhaliwal. "It's a great exhibit of our culture, of our past. We believe it's a good investment in terms of creating a community spirit."