The Parks & Recreation Department presented the idea of increasing Membership Rates in alignment with the annual cost of living increase for the region to the Park Advisory Board at their July meeting, the board unanimously agreed.
Why is this necessary?
The Department’s costs of doing business are going up. We established our membership rates commensurate with our position in the market, charging less for all levels of memberships compared to the pricing structure established by the similar family fitness centers in our area. The Parks & Recreation Department has not asked the City Council to consider a membership fee increase since we opened in 2019.
The largest expense in the Recreation Center’s budget is the cost of staffing.
Staffing accounts for 81% of the annual budget for the facility.
Since opening in 2019 part time staffing has experienced a 32.9% increase.
The state minimum wage in 2019 when we opened was $12.00. In 2023 the state minimum wage has increased to $15.74.
Full time employee wages have also seen annual cost of living increases.
Our second largest budget line item is our utilities charges. Avista Utilities has increased rates 11% in the past two years.
In order to keep pace with the increased cost of running the facility, the Department will be proposing that the City Council consider an increase to membership fees in alignment with the 2024 annual cost of living increase that will be applied to the state minimum wage. Since opening in 2019, this increase has seen a low of a 1.4% increase in 2021 and a high increase of 8.8% in 2023. The average over the past 5 years is a 6.6% increase. The State does not release the annual cost of living increase until later in the year, and will be monitored closely in order to let members know what to expect as soon as possible.