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Ice rental rates going up in Saint John

By Brad Perry Jul 27, 2023 | 4:55 PM

Renting ice time at one of Saint John’s arenas will cost you more this year.

On Monday, council approved a three per cent rate increase across the board.

The extent of the increase will vary between user groups, according to a city staff report.

Hourly rates for youth/schools/tournaments will increase between $3.60 and $5.34.

For seniors, the increase will range from $4.50 to $5.76 per hour.

Adults will see the hourly rate increase between $4.50 and $7.98.

And for-profit groups will pay $8.79 more per hour to rent ice time.

City staff said the three per cent increase is expected to generate an extra $16,367 in additional revenue.

That money will be used to “help offset operating expenditures that are increasing because of inflation,” said the report.

Field, arena floor and tennis court rental rates also went up three per cent this year.

The new ice rental rates in Saint John (top) compared to the previous rental rates (bottom). Image: City of Saint John

Meanwhile, staff said they are still in the process of reviewing the city’s recreation subsidization policies.

Council approved the policies in December 2019 to create a balance between individual user fees and taxpayer investment.

Once the policies are fully implemented, youth would be subsidized at 40 per cent, seniors at 30 per cent, and adults at 10 per cent.

But when setting the field, arena floor and tennis court rental rates earlier this year, staff noted that youth rates for fields are “out of scope for the environment.”

“The hourly rate that would need to be charged on the B Level fields for youth are not comparable in nature to other local facilities and are unrealistically high for not-for-profit groups to absorb,” said the February staff report.

Staff said a review of the policy is needed so they can properly adjust the formula to determine how recreation facility rates are calculated.

A request for proposal was issued on May 17, but after not receiving any bids, staff consulted directly with potential agencies.

They are currently in the process of reviewing two completed proposals for the scope of work required.

“Staff anticipate selecting a consulting firm by mid-summer to commence the full review,” said the staff report.

Officials with the city said they anticipate returning to council in 2024 with a recommendation on the policy.


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