It's going to cost a lot more to use the fitness centre in Salmo come Canada Day.

Salmo recreation rates going up

Monthly and annual membership rates at the Salmo and district fitness centre will nearly double on July 1.

Monthly and annual membership rates at the Salmo and district fitness centre will nearly double on July 1, the Regional District of Central Kootenay has announced.

A one-month membership will increase from $28 to $50 while a one-year membership will go from $185 to $335. Drop-in rates, however, will remain $6 per visit.

“We realized there is no way to sustain services unless we increase membership rates,” community services manager Joe Chirico said in a news release. “This increase is essential to keep the fitness centre operational and it is not a decision that was taken lightly.”

Chirico said Salmo has had some of the lowest fitness membership fees in the regional district, partly due to a budget surplus accumulated early in the fitness centre’s existence, when the bulk of services were delivered by volunteers. Now that the surplus is gone, rate increases will help cover staffing and operational costs.

Low-income families in the Salmo area can apply to the leisure access program, which reduces membership costs by 50 per cent. “We want to make sure everyone in the Salmo area has an opportunity to access recreational facilities,” Chirico added.

The regional district employs a recreation programmer, two part-time employees, one on-call employee, as swell as instructors and volunteers who operate the fitness centre, instruct group fitness and other recreation programs in Salmo. The complex itself includes a fitness centre, gym, multi-purpose room, ruth centre, kitchen, and recording studio.

“Recreation services in Salmo are extremely important to everyone in our area from tots to seniors,” said regional director Hans Cunningham. “Our recreation services go a long way toward encouraging community connections, increasing activity levels, and providing opportunities to improve quality of life. We need to keep them affordable and sustainable.”

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