Estevan City Council finalized a five per cent increase for Leisure Services rates, and discussed the cost recovery rates for the leisure venues in the community, during Council's meeting July 30.
The increase will impact user fees for venues such as Spectra Place, the Civic Auditorium, the Ikon Centre, the Souris Valley Aquatic and Leisure Centre, the Estevan Curling Club, baseball diamonds and soccer fields.
The city's playparks program won't be affected, since it is offered for free to children in the city.
According to a report from events manager Garth Forster, the cost recovery rate for Leisure Services was 33.5 per cent last year; it will increase to 34.9 per cent this year with the new rates.
But his figures don't include revenues for events at Spectra Place, such as the new arena fundraiser or donations last year, or some of the special events this year. When those are factored in, cost recovery for Spectra Place soars to 80 per cent, and the cost recovery for Leisure Services jumps to 46.2 per cent.
"I'd like to see them included, myself," said Estevan Mayor Gary St. Onge. "We have several concerts, and they should be shown somewhere."
City manager Jim Puffalt said the revenue and cost recovery numbers for Spectra Place last year are a little skewed because it was only open for half a year. Including the concerts would make a big difference, since the City has yet to lose money on a concert.
"I think it'll be interesting to see what a full year shows," said St. Onge. "I think we'll be in the black."
He would like to see the Civic Auditorium and the Ikon Centre used to their full potential next year. Estevan needs three ice surfaces, he said, and he doesn't believe that those two venues should be closed on an afternoon during a weekend.
St. Onge doesn't know what would be an adequate cost recovery rate for Leisure Services.
"I know they aren't going to pay for themselves," said St. Onge. "Whenever you're dealing with minor sports, if you were to charge what it cost you, I think it would be cost-prohibitive."
St. Onge said Council used to monitor the recovery rates for other communities. He thinks it would be nice to see how other cities in the province fare, and how Estevan compares.