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Fees set to climb at Richmond sports fields

Local sports groups will be paying more to rent soccer pitches and other playing fields from the city in 2012. - Don Fennell photo
Local sports groups will be paying more to rent soccer pitches and other playing fields from the city in 2012.
— image credit: Don Fennell photo

Richmond sports groups will be paying more to rent playing fields from the city next year.

City staff are proposing a 1.75 per cent hike in rental rates in 2012 after sports groups enjoyed a rate freeze this year.

According to Eric Stepura, manager of sports and community events, it's "important" that fees are increased each year to keep up with costs of inflation.

Field fees, first introduced in 2002, are used to pay for operating costs of fields, upgrading sports facilities and funding new sport facility development. New rates will range from a low of $2.26 per hour—for youth groups renting soil-based fields with no lights—to a high of $50.94 per hour for commercial users and non-residents renting artificial turf fields.

In 2009, fees were hiked three per cent, followed by another three per cent hike in 2010. Fees were frozen this year after sports groups were dealt financial blows by the harmonized sales tax and cutbacks in gaming grants—many of which have since been restored, according to Stepura.

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