Wondering What Your Annual BPRA Membership Fee Includes?
Paid Membership grants exclusive access to your family and guests to our beautiful, private waterfront sand beach and large grass-covered park all year long!
100% of your Annual Membership Fee pays for the maintenance, property tax, and insurance costs for the Beach Park, as well as for annual community events hosted by the BPRA.
Is the BPRA Membership Fee Changing?
Yes. Before July 1st, 2021 the Membership Fee is $25. As of July 2nd, 2021, the Annual Membership Fee is increasing to $35 annually. Pay before July 1st and save $10!
Pay your $25 Membership Fee by our Early Bird Deadline of July 1st, 2021
and be entered into a draw for a $100 Home Hardware gift card
generously donated by BPRA member and owner of Earth Electric, Les Courts.
Thank you for your generosity, Les!
To those who already paid your Membership Fee this year -
you will be automatically entered into the draw!
The winner will be announced the week of July 5th.
Why is the Membership Fee Increasing?
Several factors determined the need to raise the BPRA Membership Fee. The BPRA was provincially registered as a volunteer-run, non profit corporation in 1973, and the Membership Fee of $25 was established at that time, nearly 50 years ago. Since then the Membership Fee has not risen; however, expenses have! The cost of maintaining and insuring the Beach Park property to our high standards has increased year-over-year. Property taxes have also increased during that time, while, in recent years, less than 70% of the eligible households in the BPRA catchment area have paid their annual membership fee.
In addition, as Rick shared in the Interim Financial Report published this past February, the BPRA financial reserve has been impacted by inclement weather and Covid-19 restrictions causing the BPRA's major in-person fundraisers, such as the August Family Fun Day, to be cancelled or rained out for the past three years. Although we are hopeful about this summer's events and fundraisers, it is unlikely that we will be able to hold our August Family Fun Day.
The current BPRA Executive Board found the BPRA reserve fund significantly depleted in summer 2020 when we took on our roles. As elected officers of the Bayou Park Ratepayers Association, a provincially incorporated non-profit, it is our responsibility to ensure the ongoing financial health and viability of the BPRA and the assets under our management (the Beach Park). As such, we have a goal to increase the reserve to 2 years worth of funds to cover both anticipated and unanticipated expenses. Raising the Membership Fee will help achieve this goal.
Finally, the Beach Park deed specifies that if property taxes lapse, ownership of the beach park can revert back to the original developer who donated the land, the Gregg family, for them to do what they wish with the land. Increasing the Membership Fee and therefore, our financial reserve, helps guard against the risk of property tax arrears, and keeps the Beach Park accessible for Bayou Park residents for years to come.
Why is it being raised to $35 specifically?
The fee has been adjusted for inflation over the past 20 years using the Bank of Canada's online inflation calculator.
Adjusted to inflation since the establishment of the BPRA in 1973 would result in the fee being $153 in today's dollars, or an increase of nearly 600%.
Clearly this would be too steep an increase! Instead we have decided to conservatively adjust the Membership Fee to the cost of inflation since 2001, 20 years ago, which equals $35 in today's dollars. This is a $10, or 40%, annual increase over the previous $25 fee. For you, this equates to an extra 83 cents per month, less than a once-a-month size small Tim Horton's Double Double!
$35 annually is a small price to pay to have access to a private beach on beautiful Lake Couchiching, especially at this time when waterfront property is difficult, expensive, and competitive to come by.
Will the Membership Fee be raised again next year?
No. We do not anticipate the Membership Fee needing to be raised for many years after this. We are planning for the future with this increase to $35 annually.
How can I pay my Membership Fee?
Because of Covid-19, we encourage residents to pay by etransfer or credit card as we are trying to limit the amount of houses we need to visit door to door:
Pay by EMT/etransfer to: firstname.lastname@example.org. Include your name & address in the notes section.
If you cannot pay using one of our electronic options above, please deliver cash or cheque with a note indicating your name and address to one of the following locations:
Claire's House: 3686 Shadow Creek Rd (email@example.com)
Rick's House: 2592 Westshore Crescent (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Please follow all Covid-19 safety guidelines when interacting with Claire or Rick.
Only members who have paid their Annual Membership Fee have the privilege of accessing our gorgeous waterfront property. Members are asked to leave only footprints at the beach -kindly clean up any trash and take all belongings home with you. Please no smoking -cigarette butts are a hazard for the both birds and the children who use the beach area.
Can I pay for a neighbour who is experiencing hard times?
Yes! The Covid-19 lockdowns and restrictions have had a significant financial impact for some families in our neighbourhood. If you wish to pay the Membership Fee for a neighbour, friend, or community member who is experiencing financial difficulty, that is welcome. Please email email@example.com to make arrangements.
Do I live in the Bayou Park Ratepayers Association catchment?
The deed to the Beach Park specifies that owners and residents of lots located on Plans 1106, 1233, 1328 and any new plans built within Lots 4 and 5, Concession 9, in Severn Township can be members and have access to the beach. This extends from Bayou Road in the north end of our neighbourhood to Westshore Crescent in the south end. Generally speaking, residents of Bayou Rd, Shadow Creek Rd, Westshore Cres, Timberline Ave, and all of Grand Tamarack Cres are eligible. Click here for a map to see if you live within the eligible area. You can also view the deed to the Beach Park here.
All registered owners of title within this area are responsible to pay their portion of costs for the upkeep of our common area, the Beach Park.
Is the BPRA Executive Board compensated?
As it was when the BPRA was originally founded, the Executive Board positions are volunteer roles. There is no compensation or honorarium given to the Executive Board team members, or any member volunteers, for their work with the BPRA. Those of us that volunteer do it because we love this community!
Beach and association-related expenses incurred by an Executive Member of the BPRA are reimbursed with the approval of the Board per BPRA policy. The expense reimbursement form must be completed and receipts provided.
Our Treasurer, Rick Talbot, will be happy to answer any questions you may have at firstname.lastname@example.org.