Kimberley seniors protest fee increase

City Council backs off 12 per cent increase at Centennial Hall

Council had quite a discussion this week on whether to increase the fees charged the Kimberley Senior Citizens Branch #14 for use of Centennial Hall.

The Seniors had written Council concerned about a 12 per cent increase for the coming year, an extra $300. The Seniors say that as a non-profit they simply cannot afford the extra fee.

Mayor Ron McRae said that he didn’t thin it made a lot of sense to hit the seniors with an increase that would raise so little money.

CAO Scott Sommerville explained that the increase was taking into account long-term cost increases over the five years of the rental agreement with the seniors.

Council considered cutting the increase in half, which both councillors Kent Goodwin and Jack Ratcliffe believed was fair. Coun. Darryl Oakley said he preferred no increase as pensions were fixed.

“This is one segment of the population that needs careful consideration,” he said.

Coun. Bev Middlebrook was torn, saying she saw the need to cover costs, but that seniors have paid more taxes than anyone else and if anyone deserved a break they did.

Eventually council agreed that no increase would be given to the rates.