RDEK is calling for nominations for their Volunteer of the Year award in all six electoral districts.

RDEK posts operating surplus as pandemic reduces costs

The RDEK has posted an operational surplus of $8 million as local governments begin disclosing annual financial reporting information mandated by the provincial government.

According to the RDEK’s statement of operations for 2020, the organization posted an $8 million surplus, which was originally budgeted at $5.3 million.

Much of the surplus is attributed to reduced operational costs, as actual expenses came in lower than budgeted expenses due to impacts from the COVID-19 pandemic.

The RDEK had budgeted $39 million in revenues, however, actual revenues came in at $37 million. Budgeted expenses were set for $33 million, while coming in at $29 million actual.

Reduced revenues came from lower dollar amounts of provincial and local government grants than what had been budgeted, while on the expenses end, costs were significantly lower relating to general administration, protective services and development and transportation services.

In addition to organisational financial reporting, the Statement of Financial Information also discloses salaries of elected officials and staff with remuneration above $75,000.

RDEK Board Chair Rob Gay is the highest paid elected official with $55,407 and $2,810 in expenses. Both board chair and vice-chair positions are entitled to additional compensation for taking on leadership duties.

Board directors representing rural electoral areas have a higher base salary, as opposed to directors representing member municipalities. For example, Jane Walter, representing Area E, had a base salary of $37,000 with expenses of $3,372. In comparison, a municipal director, such as Cranbrook Mayor Lee Pratt, had a base remuneration of $18,372, with no reported expenses.

In all, remuneration for 26 positions between RDEK electoral area directors, municipal directors and directors with the Kootenay East Regional Hospital District Board totalled $479,045, including expenses.

On staff salaries, 10 senior employees — out of 22 who were compensated over the $75,000 threshold — earned over $100,000. The RDEK’s Chief Administrative Officer — the local government’s top administration official and typically the highest-paid — made $190,856.

Approximately $2.2 million was paid to staff employees who earned over $75,000, while $3.4 million was paid to staff earning under the $75,000 threshold.

The RDEK also paid out $32 million in public accounts over $25,000. Some of the larger items include $5.8 million to the District of Elkford, $5.7 million to GLF Environmental Ltd, and $2.3 million to Marwest Industries.

Additionally, $2.9 million was the consolidated amount for payments of accounts under $25,000 or less.