Nelson Leafs president John Dooley cracks a joke during head coach Mario Dibella’s presentation at last week’s annual general meeting. Photo: Will Johnson

Nelson Leafs lose cash due to recycling depot theft

Depot revenue dropped approximately $61,000 from 2016 to 2017

It’s happened before.

According to newly re-elected Nelson Leafs president John Dooley, this isn’t the first time the team has hemorrhaged cash due to large-scale theft at the recycling depot. But they’re taking measures to make sure it won’t happen again.

“Over the past couple of years we’ve faced a few challenges, including changing our coaching staff and management team, and now we’re finally getting the organization structured so we can move forward,” Dooley told the Star.

“We had some theft at the recycling depot, because it’s really difficult to monitor. It’s a business where we have a combination of people donating product, getting paid for the product they’re bringing in, and at least half a dozen different types of recycling.”

He said, “The opportunity for people to take advantage of the cash outlays are significant, so we’ve put more checks and balances in place now.”

The theft, combined with some renovations and the cost of a consultant, caused the centre to drop $61,000 in revenue this year. They made only $11,298 as compared to 2016’s $72,172.

“We had somebody who was, for a while, a little smarter than we were,” Dooley said. “But we’re confident that we can feel comfortable moving forward now.”

They’re looking at expanding their recycling options to include paint and oil and hazardous materials — and Dooley noted those don’t involve cash outlays like other products.

But it will also take significant upgrades to their infrastructure.

Some good news? Their beer garden earned them $17,445.

During the meeting Dooley was re-elected while directors Corey Viala, Jeff Wright and Peter Payne were also voted in. Current directors Karilynn Carr, Randy Craik, Gioconda Gordon and Lauretta Wilson still have a year on their terms.

Dooley thanked departing directors Tony and Wendy Maida, as well as MJ Swetlikoe, for all their hard work over the years.

Further information about the team’s financials was circulated at the meeting, outlining how they spent $297,255 while making only $254,229 — a $43,026 deficit that isn’t quite as bad as the $61,384 deficit from the year before.

According to the treasurer’s report $100,00 will be moved to a special savings account at Nelson and District Credit Union as internally restricted funds for building and land development.

They’ve taken an additional $10,000 from that account into their general funds to give them a year-end balance of $33,917 including interest.

Dooley feels that now the franchise is on an “even keel,” the team can focus on the future.

“I’m feeling confident about the board we’ve put together, and we’re looking forward to another great season.”