City writes off collecting $10,000

The city has given up on collecting more than $5,000 from two people involved in a car accident six years ago that damaged city property

The city has given up on collecting more than $5,000 from two people involved in a car accident six years ago that damaged city property.

Damian Brown owed the city $3,164.60 while Jennifer Maguire owed $2,014.41

Dennis Brodie, the city’s finance operations supervisor, said the money relates to a car crash that the city has decided to write-off.

“This outstanding account relates to a single motor vehicle accident in 2008 which resulted in damage to city infrastructure,” Brodie said.

“There have been numerous attempts to contact the responsible party with no success. The account was referred to a collections agent who also had no success in collecting any of the amount outstanding.”

With no options left, councillors made the decision at the June 10 council meeting to write-off the account.

Coun. Andy Adams asked Brodie if the pair owned any property, or if there was any other kind of recourse, that the city could follow-up on.

Brodie replied that the city can’t legally go after the pair through property tax because the money owing is not on Brown or Maguire’s own property.

“No, we don’t have any record of these folks and even if we did, the Community Charter only allows for monies owed to the city to be collected through means of taxation if it’s on the specific piece of property that they own,” Brodie said.

“So even if they were present, that wouldn’t be a means to collect.”

Council was also forced to forfeit a further $4,992 related to two other outstanding accounts.

Council wrote off $1,271.02 from West Coast Helicopters from an incident which dates back to 2009.

Brodie said the account relates to a property lease on Tyee Spit.

“Staff suspects an error in billing related to the transfer of receivables from our old accounting system to the Vadim system in 2009,” Brodie said.

“There exists no documentation on file related to this particular charge and the customer has stated this amount was paid, and all subsequent billings to West Coast have been paid in full on a timely basis.”

The final write-off was $3,720.99 from ICBC, relating to another car accident, this time in 2013 which damaged the Brewster Road bridge.

Brodie said ICBC disagreed with the $9,985.37 invoiced from the city.

“ICBC contested some of the amounts charged related to engineering inspection of the bridge (after) the accident because the city has a regular inspection program in place for its bridges, and ICBC took the position that an inspection would have been necessary regardless of the motor vehicle accident,” Brodie said.

“The city agreed to settle the claim for $6,264.38 – leaving the amount of $3,720.99 outstanding. As a settlement agreement has been reached with ICBC, the outstanding amount is uncollectible.”