St. Catharines is looking to raise fees for golf, swimming, skating, to name a few

By Don Redmond

Published on June 10, 2021 at 7:08 p.m.

In what has become an annual tradition for most municipalities, St. Catharines will almost certainly increase its user fees at its June 14 council meeting.

However, the generalized price increases will not hurt the portfolio too much, as it only increases by 1.5%. Currently, St. Catharines has just over 1,100 public activities that involve user fees, but that number is growing a bit as they will be adding 13 new fees.

The most well-known public paid activities in St. Catharines are swimming lessons, Garden City Golf Course green fees, public skating, dog licenses, park and facility rentals, construction and demolition and road closures for public events.

New user fees added for 2021-22 include: short-term rental licenses, new site plan processing fees, new webinar fees for the St. Catharines Enterprise Center and the introduction of fees for staff attendance at wedding rehearsals. .

At a May city budget standing committee, members approved recommended fares and fee increases. It is almost certain that the St. Catharines council will automatically approve the increases because it keeps the increase adjusted for inflation. The reason the fees increase every year is to compensate for changes in updated legislation, to recover administration costs and simply to standardize prices.

Director of Financial Management Services Kristine Douglas explained the increases at the committee meeting. Noting that user fees only affect actual users of services and not taxpayers in general, she said, “City staff review rates and fees annually and adjust them based on the cost of service. city ​​to provide services, local market conditions, user demand and according to municipal comparison information. It is a responsible approach to updating rates and fees and to maintaining and managing the costs of programs and services.

“The proposed rates and fees allow the City to balance costs without burdening the ratepayer by charging those who use a service.”

The public is invited to speak to the Council on the issue, but only virtually. To do so, they must complete the City’s electronic delegation form before 11:59 p.m. on Sunday, June 13. However, residents are encouraged to email the City about the change or simply drop a written letter in the City mailbox at City Hall.

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