By Chad Ingram
Algonquin Highlands has settled on arevised rental fee structure for its recreational halls and will bemaking changes to other fees as well.
For the past few months councillorshave been discussing how to achieve greater consistency in fees forits halls while keeping rates affordable for groups who use thefacilities on a regular basis.
The township operates the StanhopeFirefighters' Community Hall on North Shore Road the DorsetRecreation Centre and the Oxtongue Lake Community Centre.
It closed the long-standing Club 35near Halls Lake at the end of October due to low use that was notnearly offsetting its operational and upgrading costs.
At one point during the conversationsit was suggested that an annual fee – almost like a membership fee– should be instituted for groups who use the facilities on aregular basis.
There are for example a few seniors'card groups that use space on a weekly or biweekly basis. The groupthat until recently had played cards at Club 35 gave the township anannual donation of approximately $12000 for the use of that space.That group has moved its activities to Stanhope.
The fee structure that councilsupported during its Nov. 19 meeting includes an annual flat ratefee based on volume for small private and non-profit groups thatuse facilities on a regular basis.
For 20 to 50 uses a year the flat feeis $1000 per year; $1200 per year for 51 to 100 uses; and $1500for 101 to 150 uses a year.
This fee would apply to all threehalls.
“I think it is something that willwork for everyone” said Councillor Marlene Kyle.
The new permit and fees schedule whichthe township will advertise for public feedback before it isultimately passed by council includes changes to fees in other areasas well.
At the scenic lookout tower in Dorsetthe township will institute as walk-up fee.
As chief administrative officer AngieBird pointed out some people will park at the bottom of the propertyin order to avoid paying parking fees.
The walk-up fee will be $1 and $2 fromLabour Day until Thanksgiving during the peak of fall foliage.
“The staff complement does increasewith the volume of people” said treasurer Tammy McKelveyindicating there were more costs to offset during the period of thefall colours.
At landfills tipping fees for a cubicyard of demolition and construction waste will increase from $40 percubic yard to $80 per cubic yard in instances where the waste is notsorted.
“It's a good incentive for people todo the sorting” said Deputy-reeve Liz Danielsen.
McKelvey added that if residents don'tdo their own sorting that tasks falls to township staff.
At the Stanhope Airport annual hangarlease fees will increase for hangars in groups D through H.
For group D the annual fee will risefrom $8000 to $8400. For groups E through H the annual fee willincrease from $2500 to $2562.50.
The township was recently informed bythe Municipal Property Assessment Corporation that taxes on theproperty would be rising due to construction of the airport's newhangars.
Fees for aircraft parking will increasefrom $10 to $11 per day and from $70 to $90 per month. The annualparking rate will remain at $420.