Vernon Recreation Services (VRS) is investigating the use of a new tiered user fee system.
The change comes after members of the Greater Vernon Recreation Facilities and Programming Service Agreement were unable to come to a new proposal.
Currently, VRS is jointly funded by Vernon, Coldstream and RDNO Electoral Areas B and C, through the agreement.
Prior to the end of last year (2022), all participants wanted to renegotiate their current terms. Those negotiations had to be completed by June 30, 2023. The participants were unable to come to a consensus on a new agreement and as a result, it’s set to expire on Dec. 31.
“City council has been clear and consistent in its communications with the other participants regarding its interest in reaching a new and equitable agreement,” said Mayor Victor Cumming. “It is unfortunate that new terms could not be reached.”
As of Jan. 1, 2024, Vernon will be solely responsible for providing and funding recreation services to its residents. As a result, city council has directed administration to begin investigating the implementation of a tiered user fee system. The system will apply to all users of the facilities, with Vernon residents paying a lower cost, and getting earlier access to registration.
According to the city, “minimal tax implications are expected due to the current agreement coming to an end.”
Council assures residents that Vernon has the financial resources available to fund recreation services in 2024.