The City of White Rock has paid more than $1 million to consultants in the first nine months of 2011

The City of White Rock has paid more than $1 million to consultants in the first nine months of 2011

White Rock consultant fees pass $1 million

The City of White Rock has paid more than $1 million to consultants in the first nine months of 2011, officials heard last week.

The City of White Rock has paid more than $1 million to consultants in the first nine months of 2011, officials heard last week.

In presenting her third-quarter report Oct. 24, financial services director Sandra Kurylo told members of the finance and audit committee that more than half – $553,387 – of the total was spent between July and September.

The report notes $269,136 was spent on consultants from April to June; another $247,598 was paid from January to March.

The $1,070,121 year-to-date figure is more than double that spent on consultants in the first nine months of 2010 – a fact Kurylo said can be largely attributed to “the significant level of capital improvements underway.”

“The budget for that is significantly high this year,” she said.

Both figures – which are still subject to year-end review – take recoveries from grants and other contributions into account.

A detailed preliminary list identifies payments ranging from $217 for a drainage-fee bylaw update, to $57,434, for a Phase 2 storm sewer condition assessment.

In her report, Kurylo notes policy calls for consultant use when:

• specific expertise is not available in-house;

• it is not cost-effective for the project to be undertaken by staff;

• it is important to limit legal liability;

• there is a statutory requirement to hire a consultant;

• independent, objective advice is required; or

• flexibility is needed to meet tight, unexpected timeframes.

The committee voted to receive the information.