Ridge recreation fee increases defeated

Council had considered a staff report suggesting a few targeted increases in certain areas.

Maple Ridge recreation groups or clubs or amateur athletes, swimmers, hockey or soccer players won’t see any increase in fees for the next year, council decided Tuesday.

Council had considered a staff report suggesting a few targeted increases in certain areas, leaving most of the admission fees untouched, but decided against any change whatsoever, leaving the entire existing fees structure as is.

The decision is contrary to that reported Wednesday.

Mayor Nicole Read explained later that council will keep the rates in place at least until Pitt Meadows and Maple Ridge complete the separation of their parks and leisure services partnership a year from now.

Maple Ridge announced Oct. 20 it was ending the agreement in which the two cities partnered in providing parks and leisure services.

A report from a consultant found that Pitt Meadows was benefitting more from the deal than Maple Ridge, saving about $200,000 a year.

Coun. Tyler Shymkiw said in a Facebook post that the recreation fee increases were voted down unanimously.

“Over the next year we [Maple Ridge council] will be working through the separation as well the post-agreement structure. The direction given staff last night was that we would not revisit fee increases during this time,” Shymkiw said.