Is a rate change in the future at the Sunset Empire Park and Recreation District?

That’s the question executive director Skyler Archibald asked at the Tuesday, April 16, district board meeting.

“The district is faced with rising costs of natural gas, power, water and other utilities, as well as the ever-increasing cost of maintaining the Sunset Pool,” he said.

The new minimum wage, up from $10.25 in 2017 to $11.25 today, and slated for $13.50 in 2022, will impact future costs as well.

Current rates are at a similar cost or less than counterparts along the coast and in other rural parts of the state, and substantially less expense than more urban areas.

The last time fees were raised was about two years, Archibald said, put in place to align the difference between district and out-of-district participants.

The difference is now about 33 percent, he added.

Along with the increases in minimum wage older buildings, increased costs for power and water, products are more important than they were a few years ago.

“If we are to change the fees, the timeline is that we should have that discussion now,” he said, to have new fees lined up by Sept. 1, when a new program guide is released. “It’s up to the board to decide.”

Increases may include a narrow focus swim programs only, or other programs and services.

Acting president Ed Hassan asked to see what the pending property tax increase will be. “I really don’t want to see patrons hit twice, because of their property value going up, and us raising the rates.”

“Even a small increase can have an effect, board member Veronica Russell added.

Hassan suggested an “across-the-board” increase, spread out among programs and classes. “We don’t want to overburden our community.”

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