The Regional District of Central Kootenay has just released its annual Statement of Financial Information (SOFI).
In 2017 the RDCK paid salaries of more than $100,000 each to 10 of its senior staff members (compared with nine the previous year), and $723,486 in salaries and benefits to its elected directors (compared with $690,099 in 2016). It also paid $80,577 in severance payments to two employees.
It spent about 34 per cent of its operating budget on salaries and benefits, and achieved a surplus of $7,834,948 on an operating revenue of $51,843,948.
Those are some examples of the information contained in the report. All municipalities, regional districts, and other public bodies are required by provincial law to publish a SOFI report annually.
The report includes financial statements, a list of director and staff salaries, and a list of all payments made for goods and services over $25,000. Two reports — the SOFI and the financial statements — are attached below.
The report also contains a full list of about 135 vendors from whom the RDCK made purchases over $25,000. Seventeen of them were each paid more than $300,000.
The consolidated statement of financial position shows an accumulated surplus (on financial assets, non-financial assets and liabilities) of $103,311,607.
The report lists grants over $25,000 from the regional district to 45 organizations and municipalities. The largest grant was to the City of Castlegar, amounting to $470,000, mostly for the Millennium Ponds.
The 11 rural directors each earned a base allowance of $33,375 while the nine municipal directors each received $12,940 in addition to the salary they earn from sitting on their respective councils.
Chair Karen Hamling receives an extra $31,745 stipend on top of her municipal allowance.
Directors receive additional pay for attending board meetings and chairing committees and are reimbursed for expenses while travelling on regional district business, including accommodation, mileage at 57 cents per kilometres, and up to $75 per day for meals, although they don’t always claim the full amounts.
The RDCK has 350 employees including elected officials.
The highest paid employee was Chief Administrative Officer Stuart Horn, who made $230,117 plus expenses, up from $192,961 in 2016, followed by Andrew Bellerby, Manager of Fire and Emergency Services, at $132,534 and Ulli Wolf, Manager of Environmental Services, at $130,652.
The total payroll for all employees in 2017 was $12,604,240, compared with 2016’s total of $10,658,152. The increase, according to Horn, was due to a variety of things including an expansion of programming at several recreation centres, Emergency Operations Centre salaries during forest fire season, new staff positions (a wildfire mitigation coordinator, a bylaw officer in Creston and a communications coordinator all amounting to $180,000), and two severance agreements.
Horn told the Star that most notable thing about the RDCK’s finances is the broad reach of the services provided.
“We have over 160 services but depending on where you live in the RD you might pay into two or three of those. It really is difficult to put it in terms that mean the same thing to someone living in Nelson and someone living in Nakusp.”
People in Nelson and Castlegar, for example, pay into large recreation centres run by the RDCK. Horn said the only services that extend to all areas of the RDCK are wildfire mitigation and waste management.
He says one of his most valuable indicators in the financial statements are capital assets amounting to about $100 million compared with debt at about $34 million.
Another is the $32 million cash on hand at the end of 2017, which has been easily enough to operate to the end of the fiscal year on August 1, he says.
This story was amended on July 23 by adding more detail to the paragraph beginning with “The total payroll…..”