The Oakville Budget Committee heard from public delegations yesterday about the town’s proposed increases to its 2014 rates and fees. A number of seniors voiced concerns about the ongoing phase out of the seniors’ discount on recreational memberships and programs that began in 2012.
After hearing from delegations and staff, the Budget Committee recommended maintaining the current 20 per cent discount for seniors’ memberships, and directed staff to explore additional time of day discounts to enhance service levels.
“Seniors are a vital and contributing part of the Oakville community. We hope they continue to stay active and take advantage of Oakville’s outstanding programs and services,” Mayor Rob Burton said. “Oakville’s seniors’ discount for fitness memberships is being maintained at the same level as Mississauga and Burlington and our membership prices continue to be lower than both neighbouring municipalities.”
Some delegates also shared concerns for seniors with limited income who fall below the poverty line making fitness opportunities difficult to afford. Staff highlighted Oakville’s RecreationConnection program which offers up to $300 in funding for eligible low income residents towards most programs and services offered by the Recreation and Culture department, including memberships. Residents are encouraged to visit oakville.ca to learn more.
Under the Municipal Act, municipalities have the authority to impose fees or charges for any activity or service provided, but cannot charge more than the cost to provide those programs and services. The main user fees paid by Oakville residents are transit fares, facility and field rentals, recreation program fees, building and planning permit fees, and parking rates.