Jason Hewlett, Vice-President of the Aquarian Swim Club, gave a brief overview of the history and current status of the club, and noted that they have been long-term clients of the Westhill and Rocky Point Pools. Mr. Hewlett noted that with the recent decrease in provincial funding, they have had to increase their fees by $100 per child in the last year, and that they would have difficulty keeping up with any fee increases.Dave Newsted, Treasurer of the Aquarian Swim Club, noted that the pool rental fees, despite their seeming nominal, form a significant percentage of their expenses. Mr. Newsted noted that the club’s projected revenue for this year is $75,000, and its expenses total $82,000. Mr. Newsted noted that they could reduce their expenses by shortening the seasons, but that this would make them less competitive, as other swim clubs begin their season on May 1st , and charge lower fees than the Aquarians.
Mr. Hewlett noted that while the fee increases for other Parks and Recreation programs have been in the 1% range, the fee increase for the swim club was $1, which is a 13% increase.
Councillor Nuttall noted that the large increases were a catching-up measure from when the fees were $2.50, but can now be re-examined.
Lynn Oldenburg provided rental rates for neighbouring communities: Port Coquitlam charges $14/hr, Coquitlam charges $6/hr, and Burnaby charges $53/hr.
Councillor Nuttall thanked Mr. Hewlett and Mr. Newsted for their delegation, and noted that the Commission will discuss the issue at the next meeting.
Mr. Higo provided a verbal report of the Halifax Dog Waste Program that Councillor Nuttall noted at the 2011 FCM Convention. Mr. Higo reported that one aspect of the Dog Waste Program is having a 100m on-leash section that leads to the off leash area; this allows owners to pick up after their dogs while the dogs are fully under control, and reduces dog waste in the off leash area, where waste may be left without the owner’s knowledge or ability to access it. Mr. Higo noted that the other aspect of the program involves placing red flags on dog waste that is left behind in order to emphasize the issue of responsibility. Mr. Higo noted that the red flag program would be difficult to implement, as it requires significant education on the flags and their use, as well as keeping a supply of flags available.
The Commission discussed the issue of having dogs off-leash and the difficulty in enforcing bylaws.
Councillor Nuttall requested that a written report be submitted for the next meeting.
Councillor Nuttall noted that Councillors are interested in having an audio self-guided interpretive tour, and would like to know the cost of having a downloadable mp3 on the website.
Mr. Higo noted that it would be possible to install a permanent deck mounted lift for approximately $10,000.