When the Reno City Council approved the City budget for FY1819 in May, it followed the recommendation made by the Parks, Recreation and Community Services staff to raise the age for discounted senior recreation fees from age 50 to age 60, causing younger seniors aged 50-59 to pay much higher fees to participate in healthy social and recreational program at Reno centers. The council also approved doubling the daily drop-in fees for many social and recreation activities at Paradise Park, Evelyn Mount and Neil Road centers.
Over the summer, members of the Senior Citizen Advisory Committee talked individually to council members and asked them to reconsider this decision at their September 11, 2018 meeting. Over 40 seniors attended the meeting and asked the council to lower the fees back to last year’s amounts. Many of the most active seniors participating in city programs had indicated they are either low or fixed income residents, and had to cut back or stop their participation because they could no longer afford it.
On October 11, the council unanimously decided to roll back the age for senior facility use fees to age 50, and to return the fees to 2017-2018 levels. They said they agreed with the seniors and the advisory committee that Reno should encourage more participation in healthy social and recreation activities to create a better quality of life. The council also stated that in the future, the input of city advisory groups will be included in the budget process before fees are changed and the budget is finalized.
To prepare to participate in next year’s budget process, the Senior Citizen Advisory Committee asked city staff for data showing seniors’ participation in various senior activities, revenue and expenses for running senior recreation programs, and information on how the recreation staff calculates cost recovery on senior programs. One of the committee’s major goals is to ensure that seniors pay their fair share of costs, but that they are not priced out of the city’s recreation programs in the coming years. If you are interested in helping us during the budget process, please let me know.