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Regular Council Meeting Agenda
Adult Drop-In Sport Activities - Wolanski
Community & Protective Services
Strategic Vision Element:
Where People Choose to Raise a Family - A leading recreation, leisure and sports community
There are a number of active and engaged community groups involved in the development, promotion and implementation of leisure, recreational and sporting infrastructure, amenities and activities.
Request for Decision Summary
Recent changes in provincial legislation along with increases in volume of participation within the respective adult drop-in sport activities has required Recreation Services to review and recommend modifications to the current method of program delivery.
That the interim delivery plan for continuation of adult sport activity for the 2019-2020 season be received as information.
It is estimated that for approximately 30 years various adult drop-in sport activity has been coordinated and delivered by the City of Spruce Grove. Recreation Services presently offers five (5) adult drop-in sport activities including pickleball, volleyball, basketball, badminton and outdoor soccer. The first four sports are delivered in school gymnasiums via joint-use agreement while outdoor soccer takes place at the Fuhr Sports Park. Volunteers are recruited and subsequently fill the role of activity supervisor. On average, 30 - 40 individual sessions are delivered throughout the season, which for indoor sport is the period extending September to April and for outdoor April to October. All drop-in sport activities are offered at no charge.
During the past season various changes have occurred requiring Recreation Services to review its method of delivery of adult drop-in sport activities. These changes include:
In addition the following non-legislated factors have also contributed to a review of the delivery model including:
Updates in provincial legislation specifically relating to the use of volunteers as activity supervisors. New legislation now defines a "worker" to include a volunteer. Requirements now include role descriptions, regular hazard assessments, safe work practices, safe operational procedures, safety training and working alone procedures. A "volunteer" will now be required to complete various forms and provide ongoing reports to the city's representative along with orientation for his/her back-up.
Significant increases to the number of participants has at times resulted in unmanageable volumes, which has contributed to ceasing online registration soon after the activities commence. Although activities are drop-in, participants are required to sign a waiver or informed consent agreement in order to meet the City's risk management requirements. Recreation Services was forced to implement a code-of-conduct due to incidents of verbal abuse directed towards the activity supervisor and other participants.
The Parkland School Division implemented a change regarding school access. Doors now remain closed and locked at all times resulting in the activity supervisor having to man the doorway. This is in addition to other requirements including equipment set-up, recording attendance and general supervision.
In the majority of like size communities drop-in adult sport programming is offered by the municipality through major indoor recreation facilities. Examples include the Leduc Recreation Centre (LRC) in Leduc, Genesis Place in Airdrie, the Eastlink Centre in Grande Prairie and Servus Credit Union Place in St Albert. In these instances the municipality exclusively owns and operates the facility and a participant fee is typically applied to the program in order to offset costs. The City of Spruce Grove does not exclusively own a major indoor recreation facility and therefore relies on the TransAlta Tri Leisure Centre (TLC) as direct deliverer of recreation programming including adult sport. The TLC applies its regular daily admission fee to all adult drop-in activity.
A recent analysis of the various sport activities revealed that nearly 50% of participants are non-residents. Currently there is no local government cost share agreement in place which subsequently places the responsibility solely on the the City of Spruce Grove to assume all operational costs associated with the activities.
An interim program delivery model is being formed that will consist of the following:
Previously established activity schedules will remain the same and all sport options will continue to be offered to members of the general public at no-cost. An advance program registration system;
A dedicated program supervisor will be assigned to oversee each sport activity and ensure that newly implemented legislated requirements associated with OH&S are adhered to; and
A dedicated onsite civic staffing presence be assigned for each sport activity to ensure follow-up of various safety requirements including gymnasium facility opening and closing along with regular review of evacuation routes.
On Monday, June 3, 2019 Recreation Services met with representatives of the various drop-in sports to discuss the current situation, review potential options and establish a go-forward plan. Members acknowledged and cordially received the presentation expressing a level of disappointment along with strong desire to see the sport activities continue. Representatives concurred that the options presented to them at this time were reasonable and warranted further investigation and discussion. Recreation Services committed to a follow-up meeting in early July.
Subsequent to Recreation Services presentation to Council on Monday, June 24th a follow-up meeting was held with sport representatives on Wednesday, July 3rd. At this meeting representatives were presented with a community development option method of program delivery. Conversation was cordial and two-way however the group was unanimous in its position that the City continue with a direct delivery method and that the necessary steps be taken to resource the activities thereby ensuring that they are continued in an unaltered and unabbreviated manner.
During the proposed transition period administration will explore alternate delivery options including:
Efforts will be made to move towards a cost recovery model taking into account that sport activity continues to be provided at rates that are consistent with an individuals ability to pay. Seeking out members-at-large within the community having an affinity for community activity along with a desire to work with the City on initiating and leading community based adult pick-up sport;
Have discussion with administration at the Trans Alta Tri Leisure Centre regarding the potential of the TLC delivering adult pick-up sport outside of the TLC proper;
Work towards a plan based on ceasing the City's direct delivery of adult sport activity effective September 2020; and
Prepare a service change that will form part of the corporate planning process.
The proposed interim delivery model will impact Recreation's staffing program and operating budget. In order to fulfill requirements associated with the interim plan the following temporary changes will be made to the departments core services:
The annual report on status of community sport and recreation agencies will be temporarily suspended; and
Additional staffing costs attributable to onsite coordination and supervision will be reported as a budget variance.
No file(s) attached.