Higher fee for CBay defended by council

Even if the CBay aquatic centre's adult fee rises by 50 cents it still represents "good value for money", according to Timaru District Council community services manager Sharon Matson.

The council's draft budget, approved on Tuesday, proposes lifting the adult fee to $5.50.

There will be no increase to hydroslide fees, child fees or the spa pool area.

"To introduce small annual increases of a few cents would create cash-handling complexities that would impact on the customer experience as well as operational efficiencies," Ms Matson said.

"People continue to have the options of purchasing a swim membership or generous concession cards if they are frequent users of the pools."

Ms Matson said there would be changes to the adult concession card, but it would be "in line with the new prices".

"You would be paying slightly more, but you will be getting the same level of discount.

"The facility has been open for nearly two years. People should look at their usage, and make some informed purchasing decisions," she said.

"The recommended increase in the adult swim entry fee will not come into effect until July 1, around the time CBay will celebrate two years of operation."

Ms Matson said it was a challenge to balance the costs between user pays and non-user pays, through the rates contribution.

The targeted rate for the aquatic centre is proposed to stay at the same level ($106 per property owner per year) for the next financial year.

She said the increase was not related to the proposed carpark upgrade, nor the proposed purchase of extra inflatable swimming equipment.

"The move is cost-neutral. We could have also raised the children's fees but we decided not to. We have absorbed the changes to GST in the last two years."

The Timaru Herald