Monday, December 15, 2014

Increases to Airport Ferry and Recreation Fees among items on City Council Agenda for Special Session tonight

Prince Rupert Council will  be holding some Special Sessions this week, looking to increase some fees as we head into 2015, with the Airport Ferry and Recreation Centre the main points of consideration for this evening's session.

Up for Discussion tonight at 5 PM will be a review of a new schedule of fees for those that travel on the Airport Ferry, with increments of fifty cents extra per year to be charged for the passage one way, through until 2019.

Towards discussion on that theme, Council will review a Report to Council from the City's Financial Officer Corrine Bomben, who will provide some background on a recent survey conducted by the Prince Rupert Chamber of Commerce.  As well as to provide some details on whether travellers through the Digby Island Airport would be willing to pay an additional 50 cents each way,  in order to contribute to the purchase of new buses for the service to the airport.

According to information provided by the Chamber to the City's Financial Officer, 82 per cent of those who responded to the survey were in favour of such a move.

From that survey and as part of the discussion on issues related to Airport Transportation, it is being recommended to Council  that fees to and from the Airport by bus transportation be increased.

If approved, starting January 1st the cost of the trip across to the Digby Island Airport will be $19.50, rising the fifty cents each year until 2019 when the cost will be $21.50.

Those fees are included in the charges that air travellers pay when they purchase their tickets to fly in and out of the City.

Vehicle Fares for those that take their cars across, Monthly passes, Charter Service and Dangerous Cargo provisions will also be rising should Council approve the changes. The majority of those increased fees will be in the range of 3 per cent per year.

You can review the full schedule as part of Attachment A, as well as Ms. Bomben's Report to Council from the Agenda Package for this evening.

Council will also consider a recommendation to increase Recreation fees by 10 per cent.

That recommendation comes to Council after the Recreation Commission delivered its recommendations to bring the Recreation Complex fees and charges up to more relevant levels. 

According to Ms. Bomben's review, the last Recreation fee increase took place in 2010 and fees and charges have remained constant since that time. 

However, in that four year period, the costs of operations have increased steadily, resulting in a higher subsidization rate through taxes each year since 2011.

You can review the Report from the Recreation Commission from the Agenda on pages 15 to 17

A breakdown on the new fees for activities can be found on pages 21 to 25

Should Council approve the recommended increases, the new schedule of fees would go into effect on January 1st 2015.

Council will also address the need to re-write its Solid Waste Management Bylaw,  owing to concerns over usable space at the Landfill site and the need to develop a new cell at the site ahead of schedule.

You can learn more about the items of note regarding the repeal of the existing bylaw and the introduction of the new one from Pages 26-57.

Council will meet again on Wednesday the 17th, to provide final reading to the proposed fee changes prior to the start of 2015.

City Council also has a Special Closed Session on the schedule for tonight, with discussions with municipal officers and employees to take place regarding municipal objectives, measures and progress reports for the purposes of preparing an annual report under section 98 of the Community Charter.

For more items related to City Council discussion see our archive page here.

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