Recreation Special Assessment

In 2018, Sudden Valley STRONG stood for “Saving the Recreational Opportunities ‘n’ Greenspaces”. Community Members banded together to petition the Association to hold a vote of the Membership to approve a Special Assessment to not only fund the pools, gym, parks and trails but also to make their access included. This came as a result of the YMCA pulling out of Sudden Valley in December 2017 – one month AFTER the 2018 budget was approved. That budget was counting on the YMCA as a tenant operating the pools and gym, facilities we were not going to otherwise be able to operate and access in 2018 unless a Special Assessment was approved.

Spearheaded by community members, a five (5) year Special Assessment was passed to fund our pools, gym, parks and trails. It created a new staff position – Recreation Director – and allowed Members to access the pools and gym at no additional cost.

This assessment saved our pools in the Summer of 2018 and allowed people who had never before had access to them and out gym use them for the first time without additional membership fees. Our parks saw upgrades and at least one permanent job within the rec department and a ton of seasonal jobs were created.

The assessment is approximately $12/mo (it increases by 3% annually to account for inflation) and is included in the monthly dues. The intention was that after five years, Members would be both accustomed to the use being included in their dues and as such it could be rolled into the budget once the assessment ended.

This community-driven special assessment is ending in June of 2023 and the talk has been (first communicated by interim GM Glenn Akramoff and later GM Dan Pike) that the Board is “investigating” a pay-to-use model.

What does this mean? It means that Members will be required to pay a separate monthly fee to use the facilities and determining that cost will be difficult because it will depend on how many membership can be sold. The community Members who can least afford the access to these amenities will likely lose access as they find themselves priced out.

The roughly (rounded numbers used as examples) $12/month we pay for the recreation center, pool, parks, gym, trails and parks will most likely go away if this happens. Of that, $4 is earmarked for our parks which cannot be recouped through usage fees. $5 goes toward the Community Center operations. $2 goes toward the pools. This assessment also includes both the Rec Director and Rec Manager salaries. Yes, we will “save” $12/mo in dues but at what cost to the community?

All of this needs to be sorted out before the November 2022 Annual General Meeting (AGM) and put into the budget for 2023. So, what is the plan here? Will we pay $12.13 less and have to pay huge fees to use these amenities? Will these fees even cover the cost to run and operate these amenities, salaries etc? Does anyone have the data to support this?  So far there has been no talk of this by the Board that the community is aware of.

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