News

$29.85 million to run City of White Rock

White Rock City Hall - File
White Rock City Hall
— image credit: File

The cost of running the City of White Rock last year grew only slightly from 2012, according to the city’s latest annual report.

The statement – released after the province’s June 30 deadline, due to the city strike last spring – details how much money was received by the city and where it was spent.

In total, White Rock spent $29.85 million last year – about $150,000 more than the year before, when spending totalled $29.7 million, but $2.77 million less than budgeted.

In a July 28 report to council, financial services director Sandra Kurylo explains the savings are the result of sanitary and storm sewer work that was deferred, reduced costs in the RCMP contract and other city budgets, as well as unused contingency funds.

“In summary, the city ended the year 2013 in a sound financial position,” Kurylo concludes.

She told Peace Arch News Friday that the city was not penalized for filing the information after deadline, as she kept provincial officials in the loop regarding the strike by city workers.

“It had an impact, of course, on our workload and resources,” she said. “They were aware we were going to be late.”

Other highlights include a $118,137 reduction in the city’s outstanding debt (to $139,152 as of Dec. 31) and a jump of just over $5 million in the city’s accumulated surplus.

The cost of salaries, wages and benefits grew by $267,000 over 2012, to $12,091,359.

Amongst staff, the highest-paid employee was city manager Dan Bottrill, who received $183,944 (including unused vacation and other banked time paid out) plus $7,218 in expenses. The city’s director of engineering, Greg St. Louis, was second-highest, at $146,698 remuneration and $1,158 in expenses.

Mayor Wayne Baldwin received $59,798 plus $9,861 in expenses (up from 2012, when Baldwin’s remuneration was $59,023 and his expenses totalled $9,831); councillors each received $28,569 remuneration, down slightly from $28,689 in 2012.

The councillors’ expenses ranged from a  high of $9,506 (Coun. Bill Lawrence) to $3,106 (Coun Grant Meyer).

Council remuneration was a hot topic last year, after staff were asked to review the amounts paid.

The review determined the pay fell short when compared to that of mayors and councillors in other similar-sized communities, with the mayor’s pay the most noticeable discrepancy – at nearly $13,000 below the average of his peers.

In November, council narrowly endorsed staff recommendations to calculate the mayor’s pay based on the average of that given to Port Moody, Pitt Meadows and Langley City mayors; and, to pay council 40 per cent of that amount.

The increase is to take affect Jan. 1, 2015, after November’s civic election.

A special council meeting to take public comments and questions on the annual report is set for 7 p.m. Thursday (July 31) at city hall.

Written submissions will be accepted until 4 p.m. Thursday.

 

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