User fees set to increase by three per cent in Yellowknife

Yellowknife City Hall. (Supplied by MyTrueNorthNow.com staff.)
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User fees are set to increase by three per cent in Yellowknife, pending a council vote.

City council approved the 2021 budget, which included a three per cent increase to fees which pay for running various city programs, including recreation programs. 

No councillors expressed opposition to that scheduled increase in a governance and priorities committee meeting on Monday.

Fees usually take up around a third of the city’s revenues, according to Sheila Bassi-Kellett, administrator with the City of Yellowknife.

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“Our COVID context means that collecting fees is very important,” said Bassi-Kellett. “This revenue stream is essential to the city. We don’t go into this blindly. But we do go in understanding that it’s very important to keep with the plans and a prudent approach to fiscal management.”

The amount the city had been collecting in fees declined over the past year due to COVID-19 impacting things like recreation programs.

During a previous governance and priorities committee meeting, town administration said the consistent increase of three per cent to fees the city charges for recreation spaces allows user groups to plan for the future. 

Council had been warned against increasing fees by more than three percent, saying city facilities may become unaffordable for sports groups in town.

“If we charge the full amount for the pool, it wouldn’t be affordable for residents,” said Yellowknife Mayor Rebecca Alty in a previous interview with 100.1 True North FM. “So there’s some balancing that we have to do.”

The increased fees will be voted on by council at the next meeting, on May 25.

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