The District of Sechelt has released its 2013 annual report detailing highlights, lowlights and financial figures from the past year.
The report lists Sechelt’s new wastewater treatment centre and the creation of Sechelt Innovations Ltd. as highlights of 2013 as well as the completion of several parks and public works projects and the “ongoing work and analysis to determine the best options for enhancing the service capabilities of our airport.”
Lows include the unionized employee strike during the summer of 2013 and the lengthy time it took to deal with a sinkhole that opened in the Concordia Seawatch subdivision.
Chief of innovation and growth Ron Buchhorn acknowledged the strike as a “low point for the District” but said the dispute was resolved “thanks to the leadership of the BCGEU [BC Government Employees’ Union] and our council.”
“Managers and unionized staff have all worked hard to put this experience behind us and focus on a brighter future,” Buchhorn wrote.
He also noted the sinkhole was fixed in 2013 and that the work was “completed satisfactorily.”
On the finance side of things, the annual report boasts a “strong financial position,” according to chief financial officer Victor Mema.
“We recorded a surplus of $6,724,611 in 2013, which contributed to a five per cent increase in our total assets to $145,900,566,” Mema wrote.
“We continue to have sizeable surpluses and reserves, totalling $10,398,215, which are available to meet future needs for services and infrastructure.”
The report cautions, however, that Sechelt doesn’t have enough money saved to cover the “wear and tear” on “infrastructure and other assets” in the future.
“We are able to meet all current financial obligations. However, like almost all municipalities, an infrastructure funding gap remains which, if not addressed, could necessitate significant property tax increases or reduction in services in the future,” Mema wrote.
In the area of remuneration and expenses, the financial statements showed that Mayor John Henderson made and spent considerably more than anyone else on council in 2013.
The mayor made $33,007.66 for the year and claimed $20,044.25 in expenses.
Of the remaining councillors, Alice Lutes made the most at $18,019.28 and Tom Lamb made the least at $13,864.05. Councillor expenses ranged from a low of $503.75 claimed by Mike Shanks to a high of $9,175.15 claimed by Chris Moore.
The financial report also details the salaries of all District employees who make more than $75,000 a year.
Toping the list is Ray Parfitt, director of development services, who made $114,762.84 in 2013.
The next three highest paid employees in 2013 were director of corporate services Margi Nicholas ($104,717.20), Mema ($95,215.21) and Buchhorn ($89,681.07).
The two employees with the highest expenses in 2013 were Mema at $19,181.96 and Buchhorn at $20,718.54.
See the entire 89-page annual report at www.sechelt.ca
© Coast Reporter