The City of Castlegar has released its audited financial statements and statement of financial information (SOFI) reports for 2021.
The city ended the year with $20.5 million in financial assets and $19 million in liabilities, leaving net financial assets at about $1.5 million.
The city’s debt increased by almost $6 million during the year. The jump was due to temporary borrowing for Columbia Avenue Phase 2 and equipment financing for a new excavator. However, in 2021, six other equipment financing loans were fully repaid.
The city’s reserve funds total $14.7 million, up by $1.1 million over 2020. That includes money in the development reserve, equipment replacement, water, sewer, storm and airport funds.
The city also has $85 million in non-financial assets including its capital assets, an increase of $5.3 million over 2020.
The city says the increase is primarily due to Columbia Avenue Phase 2 infrastructure being put into use, the purchase of new equipment, and the acquisition of four parcels of land.
One of the city’s largest expenses is salaries. With benefits factored in, the city spent $6.3 million on employee-related expenses.
Municipalities are required to list all employees making more than $75,000 annually as part of their SOFI report. In 2020, Castlegar had 29 employees in that category.
Upper-level management and fire chiefs account for the top ten salaries, which are all over $105,000:
Chris Barlow, chief administrative officer — $165,054
Ola Oladele, finance director — $141,783
Sam Lattanzio, fire chief — $137,771
Tracey Butler, director of corporate services — $136,043
Duane Monson, deputy fire chief — $133,690
Chris Hallam, director of municipal services — $129,096
David Bristow, IT manager — $121,516
Michael Gagnier, operations manager — $117,335
Nick Ahlfeld, deputy fire chief — $116,577
Meeri Durand, manager of planning — $105,456
Bree Seabrook, communications manager — $105,456
The remaining positions earning between $75,000 to $100,000 include journeyman carpenter, working foreman, engineering technician, building inspector, mechanic, maintenance water/sewer, planning technician, water and sewer maintenance person, treatment plant operator, parks maintenance person, senior systems analyst, manger of planning, manager of corporate services and manager of engineering.
The report also includes information on payroll for elected officials.
Mayor Kirk Duff earned $20,133 from the city. He also recieves an additional amount from the Regional District of Central Kootenay as a director representing the City of Castlegar (not included in the city’s report as those earnings are from the RDCK).
Each city councillor that served during the whole year earned about $16,000, with the exception of Dan Rye, who served part of the year as acting mayor, bringing his total to $22,400.
Before the 2021 byelection, Bruno Tassone earned $3867 for his time as mayor and Florio Vassilakakis earned $3333 for his time as councilor.
Bryan Bogle earned $8667 for his time as councillor after he won a seat in the byelection.
The information in this article was contained in the May 2 city council committee of the whole agenda, final versions will be adopted at the May 16 regular council meeting.