The Strathcona Regional District is expected to be debt-free in 12 years.
Directors learned at last week’s board meeting that auditors found the regional district to be financially sustainable.
Dawn Christenson, financial services manager for the regional district, said the six-year-old organization is working towards paying off its debt.
“By 2026 we expect to be debt free,” Christenson told the board of directors.
Area D Director Brenda Leigh was impressed.
“It’s very impressive that we’re going to be debt-free and we still run 43 services,” she said.
The regional district accumulated $540,114 of new debt in 2013 but paid off $197,267 of that.
Christenson said the new debt is related to upgrades undertaken on Rod Brind’Amour Arena last summer and the purchase of a new fire truck for Cortes Island.
Operating expenses were $10.059 million last year while operating revenue was $10.888, for an annual surplus of $829,287.
Cory Vanderhorst, chartered accountant for MNP, said overall the regional district’s finances are in order and all items added up.
“We have a clean audit opinion, so no irregularities,” Vanderhorst said. “Everything looks good from our prospective.”
Remuneration and expenses
The Strathcona Regional District spent $4.636 million in 2013 on staff and elected officials.
Quadra Director Jim Abram, as chair of the board, earned the most at $55,891 while accumulating $18,935 in expenses.
Director Ted Lewis, Zeballos, came in with the next highest wage at $52,306 while totalling $13,274 in expenses. Director Gerald Whalley, Area A, earned $50,078 while Brenda Leigh earned $48,768 last year.
Other directors earned the following: Noba Anderson, Cortes Island, ($48,595), Jude Schooner, Tahsis, ($17,215), Walter Jakeway ($16,817), John MacDonald, Sayward, ($15,982), Ron Kerr ($15,924), Craig Anderson, Gold River, ($15,792), Larry Samson ($15,192), Claire Moglove ($13,567), Mary Storry ($13,817), Andy Adams ($2,025), and Ryan Mennie ($750). The list includes directors that served a full year on the board in 2013 as well as Campbell River directors who joined the board in the fall.
The highest paid staff at the regional district in 2013 were: Tom Yates ($118,209), Russ Hotsenpiller ($115,777), Dawn Christenson ($106,516), Beth Rees ($102,000), and Strathcona Gardens managers Josie Rohne ($86,756) and Lorne Parker ($79,533).