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Sister Kennedy Centre, January 20, 2024. Image: Randy Thoms/Acadia Broadcasting

Price hikes proposed for Sister Kennedy Centre

By Randy Thoms Mar 11, 2024 | 4:12 PM

It could cost more for seniors to eat at the Sister Kennedy Centre.

A proposal to generate more revenue includes increasing the cost of meals served as part of a lunch program.

Seniors now pay five dollars.

The suggestion from administration would see the cost increase to eight dollars with special lunches priced at $12.

Councillor John McTaggart is concerned with the proposed hike.

“When we’re talking about some of the meal costs, remember, these are senior portions meals. They’re not big, full-blown meals that we’re dealing with,” says McTaggart.

Recreation and Culture Manager Nathan Young says they could consider gradual increases.

“If we start to increase those at smaller amounts, then we can still achieve that $10,000 revenue increase that is reflected in the budget if we wanted to go all the way to the maximum,” says Young.

Based on current numbers, Young says the increases could generate as much as $60,000 in new revenue.

A membership fee is also floated.

Suggestions include a $3.00 daily fee to participate in activities like the pool tables, cards, woodshop or coffee break.

Fitness classes would be prices similar to those offered at the Memorial Sports Centre.

Discounted monthly and yearly fees would provide unlimited program access.

McTaggart worries about the ability to manage a membership program at a centre primarily run by volunteers.

“The membership portion of the senior center is going to be a logistical nightmare,” says McTaggart.

“The success of the senior center is largely driven by volunteers. These are really committed volunteers, and I’m afraid it’s going to possibly put a lot of pressure on them to sort this out.”

Young admits the lack of full-time staff makes memberships challenging, but says it could be something the town looks at in subsequent years.

Young plans to meet with the centre’s advisory board in the future to discuss the proposals.