The Burns Lake village council has agreed to end the dual pricing system at the Lakeside Multiplex, which currently charges non-residents more than residents for memberships. (Blair McBride photo)

Multiplex non-resident fees to be cut

The Burns Lake village council has agreed to scrap the dual membership fee structure at the Lakeside Multiplex that charges non-residents more than residents.

Non-residents currently pay 25 per cent more than residents for memberships, according to the Multiplex website.

A three-month membership for adults costs $88 before taxes and an annual pass is $352.

The amendment to the fees and charges bylaw, discussed at the council’s April 23 meeting, would make “the whole membership fee more efficient and less confusing in general,” said Lewis Jones, Director of Recreational Services.

At the moment only six per cent of the membership is listed as a non-resident, Jones explained.

“It’s not capturing people very well from outside of the region or they’re not being identified as living outside the village boundaries.”

The amendment would also cover the discount offered for a three-month membership.

“The three-month membership offers about a 41 per cent discount over the monthly rate,” Jones said.

“I looked at about six different municipalities nearby that have similar structures. I think the average three-month membership is about 30 per cent for the discount. Ours is considerably higher and it’s the same as it is for a 12-month membership. There’s not really any incentive in people purchasing a 12-month membership when they could buy it three months at a time.”

It is hoped that a new fee structure would spur more users to buy annual memberships and increase new revenues from three-month memberships.

The amendment bid still has to go through three readings and adoption in council before the new fees take effect, expected to be in late May or early June, said chief administrative officer Sheryl Worthing.

The dual-fee system was brought in several years ago to capture increased fees from non-residents of the village after the Regional District of Bulkley-Nechako (RDBN) decided not to support the multiplex financially, according to the council report.

In moving to end the dual membership fees, the council pledged to engage with the RDBN for support.

Blair McBride
Multimedia reporter
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