AH working on consistent programming policy
By Chad Ingram
Published Jan. 25, 2018
Algonquin Highlands council and staff are working on a policy that will provide more consistency when it comes to fees for programming at its recreational facilities.
“We did a systematic review of every single program that happened in 2016,” parks, rec and trails manager Chris Card told councillors during a Jan. 18 meeting. Card noted the township lacks a defined policy when it comes to fees associated with programming.
“Because of that, anomalies exist,” Card said.
For instance, for those who wish to play basketball at the gymnasium at the Dorset Recreation Centre, the cost is $5 per adult and $2.50 for children. However, when people come to the gymnasium to fly drones, they pay $1 each.
“Now it’s drone time, the basketball people leave, the drone people go in, for $1 per person,” Card said.
The fee for knitting is also $1 per person.
For programming not under the auspices of the township, an instructor typically charges a fee, then pays a fee of $1 per participant back to the township.
Councillors also noted there are differing costs for the same activities. While tai chi at the Oxtongue Lake Community Centre costs $2, it costs $15 in Dorset.
“The facilities we have are very different facilities,” said Councillor Brian Lynch, noting there was a significant difference between the hall in Oxtongue Lake and the gym at the Dorset Rec Centre.
He also pointed out that tai chi in Oxtongue Lake is taught by a volunteer.
“For one of those, it’s a volunteer, at the other one, it’s a business,” he said. “There are so many variables.”
Councillors agreed that while they wanted to achieve consistency in a framework, they also didn’t want to make it so instructors no longer found it feasible to run their programming at township facilities.
Card will bring a draft framework back to the council table.