Hartland Council news: Rec rates see increases, decreases for 2024/25; partnership struck for rentals on arena property

by | May 21, 2024

Rates for Hartland’s recreation programs and facilities for 2024 and 2025 will see both increases and decreases

Town council approved the 2024-2025 rate sheet during a meeting on Tuesday, May 14, with the town’s Director of Facilities and Operations John Nigro detailing changes.

Nigro said rates for tournaments and leagues were lowered while select adult sports saw increases.

“Hockey [saw] increased rates in the new complex and that is in comparison with all the neighbouring facilities,” said Nigro.

“Research was done for more than the neighbouring facilities, provincially actually, to come up with [these rates]. [We are] trying to stay competitive.”

There is a new skate pass for ice skating, depending on age.

Pickleball saw a slight increase “due to the increase in participants and demand on resources.”

Sports with no increases include baseball, softball, volleyball and swimming.

For soccer, single-game prices were raised, while tournament pricing was introduced “to encourage organizations to come and play entire tournaments as opposed to single games.”

Nigro said swim day fees are being reduced, and other swimming prices aren’t seeing change due to the inconvenience of the 2024 season being affected by construction and demolition.

Coun. Wayne Britton raised the concern that a town-run program held weekly at the Covered Bridge Golf and Country Club is set to go from free to $70 for two hours in the new facility’s community room.

Webber said nothing is stopping the group from continuing to use the golf club.

“If you did use the community room then we’d be in a situation where we’d be charging some groups for use of it and some groups not,” he said. “That’s not that that it’s impossible but there’d need to be some grounding criteria where this group pays and this group does not. That is a bridge we’d have to cross when we get to it.”

Nigro noted the town doesn’t want to discourage any groups from participating in the recreation department’s programs. He encouraged anyone with concerns to contact him.

Deputy Mayor Stewart Fairgrieve asked who is looking into other revenue streams such as concerts, trade shows and sporting events. Webber said that has yet to be done but will be the responsibility of Nigro and the recreation team.

Hartland CAO Rob Webber told the River Valley Sun rates increased slightly overall over last year due to the town’s new community complex while trying to remain competitive.

“We kept the rates to the point we think will be quite attractive and competitive with our neighbours,” said Webber.

“Every time you set rates you try to ensure your facilities and programs are accessible and affordable and available for residents to use. In this case we set them very fairly and kept them low and reasonable, to maximize usage… with the hope we’d be the most booked arena in our area.”

Council partners with Belleterre for rental housing on arena property

Council approved the authorization of CAO Webber to negotiate a purchase and sale agreement with Belleterre Community Partners Inc. (BCPI) for the company to develop rental housing on the town’s arena property. The three land parcels are 1 to 2 acres in size and would house multi-unit rental housing properties.

Council will partner with BCPI in getting an application for preconstruction and infrastructure funding from the province.

Webber said Belleterre has previously done an affordable housing project in Miramichi. Hartland Council is considering subdividing the arena property.

Council approves funding for sewage lagoon aerator

Hartland is set to replace an aging aerator system on its sewage lagoon. Council approved spending $100,000 for a new lagoon master system. CAO Webber said the system, made up of two units costing approximately $50,000 each, is used by the municipalities of Caraquet, N.B. and Charlottetown, P.E.I.

Nigro stressed the need to replace the current system, which was installed in 1976. He said the aerator is necessary for maintaining water quality and acts as a filter.

Funds approved for library chimney repair

Council approved a motion for repairs to the brick chimney at the Dr. Walter Chestnut Library at a cost of $14,800. Nigro had informed council the damage could be a risk to public safety.

Public Works Director Jed Giberson said the damaged bricks will be removed and then redone, with the town looking to hire Pascal Marquis Masonry for the job. Giberson added the town wants the repairs to be finished before the Hartland Covered Bridge festival this summer.

“If it’s a risk to the public it needs to be fixed,” said Coun. Sam Walton.

Council approves hiring of new by-law enforcement officer

James Parish of 747402 NB Ltd. is the town’s new by-law enforcement officer. CAO Webber said the appointment had previously been made in closed session and needed to be approved in open council.

Coun. Mike Walton, who is the town’s fire chief, expressed concern that Parish lives in Plaster Rock, which is an hour’s drive from town in the case of an emergency.

CAO Webber said Parish has a full time job and by-law enforcer would be on top of his regular job, so there “would have to be scheduling” around emergencies.

“In an absolute emergency I am the original by-law enforcer,” said Webber. “It would be possible for me under an emergency basis to take any action to enforce a by-law.”

Council approves application for $12,000 grant

Town council approved a motion to apply for a $12,000 grant from the Community Investment Fund to go toward purchasing a Point-of-Sale system from ActiveNet. The system would be used to support recreation purchases at the town’s new community complex.

Fun park to be relocated to Triple C Recreation Centre

A motion was approved to relocate the town’s fun park to Coldstream’s Triple C Rec Centre for the remainder of 2024. The move means a $1,500 monthly rental fee for the months of July and August, at $75 per day.

FOREST FIRE INDEX – click image for current status

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