Proposed 2014 rates and fees go to Council November 18

Budget Committee recommends maintaining 20 per cent discount on seniors’ fitness memberships

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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.

“As we continue with our 2014 budget, we will be working towards our target of keeping the overall tax increase in line with inflation, reducing tax supported debt, and building and maintaining our infrastructure,” Budget Chair Councillor Tom Adams said. “We invite Oakville residents to get involved in the budget process and have their say.”

The Budget Committee will meet throughout November and December to debate the proposed budget. The public is encouraged to get involved in the budget process through the following opportunities:

  • Release and review of 2014 budget documents at Budget Committee meeting on November 18 at 9:30 a.m.
  • Recommended 2014 rates and fees presented to Council for approval on November 18 at 7 p.m.
  • Commission presentations at Budget Committee meeting on November 21 at 1:30 p.m. and November 22 at 9:30 a.m. as required.
  • Budget open house on November 23 at 10 a.m. at Iroquois Ridge Community Centre and December 4 at 7 p.m. at Woodside Library.
  • Public delegations present at Budget Committee meeting on November 26 at 7 p.m. and December 6 at 9:30 a.m.
  • Budget Committee deliberations on December 12 at 1 p.m.
  • Final budget approval by Council on December 16 at 7 p.m.

All Budget Committee and Council meetings are held in Council Chamber at Town Hall, located at 1225 Trafalgar Road.

All submissions whether in person, writing, email or social media, will be considered as part of the Budget Committee deliberations. Those wishing to appear before the Budget Committee as a delegate can register by emailing townclerk@oakville.ca or calling905-815-6015. Alternately, residents can email their comments to budget@oakville.ca.

The proposed 2014 Rates and Fees can be viewed on oakville.ca or in person at Town Hall at the ServiceOakville customer service desk. The approved 2014 Rates and Fees will be implemented effective January 1, 2014.

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