The Sechelt Aquatic Centre and Gibsons and District Aquatic Centre will likely get a new youth pool and lane rental rate, after Sunshine Coast Regional District (SCRD) directors voted in favour of the change at a May 23 board meeting.
The new youth lane fee would drop to $17 per lane per hour from $19, the standard fee for non-profit organizations using lanes, and is meant to encourage youth participation. Renting the entire pool would cost $145 per hour in Sechelt and $75 per hour in Gibsons.
An amendment to the recreational facilities fees and charges bylaw must be adopted before it can take effect.
The changes are being considered following a request by the Chinook Swim Club for additional pool lane access, reduced fees and the ability to rent the entire pool for swim meets. Current policy stipulates that two lanes must be kept open for the public at all times.
The non-profit hourly rate for lane rental at the Pender Harbour aquatic facility is $21.25 and pool rental is $85 per hour, neither of which were under consideration for a reduced fee, since Chinook Swim Club made the specific request to change fees for the Gibsons and Sechelt pools.
Youth aredefined as anyone under 19 years old, and lower rates are meant to benefit aquatic groups such as Community School programs, shíshálh Nation day camps, cadets, youth water polo and the Chinook Swim Club.
A comparison with other recreation facilities in B.C. found the SCRD’s lane fees to be $1.40 higher than the average five facilities with non-profit rates, and almost $5 higher than nine facilities with a youth rate.
Staff are also expected report on changing the annual maintenance shutdown from June to May, in part because it is favourable to the Chinook Swim Club, since provincial championships are held in July and they need a pool with the standard 25-metre lanes to prepare.