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Monday, October 28, 2019

Users Fees on Rise in Hanover

Hanover | by Robyn Garvey  

Slight increase to most user fees and charges in 2020.

After much debate, the majority of Hanover Councilors have voted in favour of an increase in the Town's 2020 User Fees and Charges.

Setting the new User Fees and Charges is always a difficult balancing act for Hanover, as Councilors wrestled with the numbers in an attempt to come up with what they believe is a fair price.

For the most part user fees and charges will be increasing slightly in Hanover in the new year.

Recreation Programming fees will experience a 2 percent increase which is expected to generate an additional 9 thousand dollars in revenue in 2020.

As for Recreation Facilities rentals, the rates will rise between 3 and 4 percent bringing in an anticipated 5 thousand dollar increase in revenue.

There will also be a 2 percent increase in Cemetery fees and a very slight increase in Civic Facility fees and Fire Service Fees.

Councilor Warren Dickert notes Hanover has a lot of capital and infrastructure projects coming up and as such it is important to look at the big picture, and believes the new rates are fair and reasonable.

Councilor Steve Fitzsimmons however, felt the increases were a little heavy handed and would have preferred a smaller increase.

Most of the Councilor fee debate centered around the 3 to 4 percent increase to facility rental rates.

Councilors tossed around a number of ideas including charging vendors a percentage of their profit rather than a set rental fee, or lowering rates to draw in more rentals, but in the end the staff recommendation was approved.

Not all user fees and charges are on the rise, many fees have been left untouched such as the 2 dollar bag tag fee.

Meanwhile, the 30 percent discount for all Town of Hanover youth groups and 25 percent discount for all local non-profit groups that was implemented this February will be carried forward in 2020.  

As of September 30th, the total discounts provided to the two groups reflected a $17,342 dollars in reduced revenue for the Town.

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