City invests in facility savings plan

By Geoff Lee

March 24, 2016 9:54 AM

The city of Lloydminster is spending $54,930 for the services of Expedition Management Consulting with an aim to increase the operational cost recovery rate of the Servus Sports Centre and the Leisure Centre.
The idea took some heat in council last Monday from Councillor Ken Baker who said, “$55,000 is a lot of money.
“With this economy, money is tight.”
As a new priority for the city’s Community Services department, funds for the review will be reallocated from the city’s 2016 capital budget.
The scope of the work to be completed by September involves a look at finding efficiencies to operate the facilities in terms of better cost recovery.
The review includes a comparative and financial analysis, a review of staffing structures and member fees and programming.
Coun. Larry Sauer said a consultant, “... can tell us what we haven’t considered.
“What should be our cost recovery rate at public facilities?” he asked.
Sauer said cost recovery is not just about charging the appropriate rates for individual and group users.
“It also takes a look at the number of people that we are employing – are we doing it efficiently? – what other things could we look at,” he said.
He said the review will tell the city what other communities are doing differently that Lloydminster isn’t aware of to improve the cost recovery rate at the two facilities.
Asked what an acceptable recovery rate is for the city, Sauer said that’s what they have been asking in council.
“Right now, over the past number of years that I’ve been on council, the recovery rate for our rinks has been somewhere between 43 and 47 per cent,” he said.
“Is that acceptable? – maybe it is.”
He said council wants to have a good review of that with a consulting firm that deals with that in a number of other communities and report back.
“Then we can take a look at it and say what would be fair to our residents,” he said.
Sauer noted this will be the first operational and cost recovery review he can think of during his six years in office other than rate reviews.
“Over the years we’ve just gone with an increase, but the consultant will tell us what we don’t know,” he said.
CEO Don Stang said the study will be a “holistic review of how we can recover costs.
“The focus is how we do business and some of the programs we are offering,” he said.
He noted the review has an aim to find operational efficiencies through the types of services and programs offered to the public at both facilities.
It won’t be looking at expenditures such as power consumption, he said.

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