Payroll costs at the Village of Pemberton (VOP) fell slightly in 2020 after jumping more than $600,000 in 2019, according to the annual Statements of Financial Information report received by council on July 13.
All in, VOP staff earned a total remuneration of $2,653,896 in 2020, down from the $2.9 million reported in the 2019 SOFI report.
Twelve VOP employees earned a remuneration of over $75,000 in 2020, with chief administrative officer Nikki Gilmore ($135,000, up from $131,868 in 2019) leading the way, followed by manager of corporate services Sheena Fraser ($104,357, up from $101,454) and finance manager Lena Martin ($100,000, up from $97,693).
Employees earning under the $75,000 SOFI threshold accounted for $1.4 million of the VOP’s total payroll.
Mayor Mike Richman earned a remuneration of $29,733, while each of Pemberton’s four municipal councillors earned $14,743.
On the supplier side, the VOP paid $8.2 million for the provision of goods and services in 2020—well below the $17 million reported in 2019.
Aside from $1.6 million paid to the Squamish-Lillooet Regional District and $716,785 to the Receiver General (for policing costs), the largest payment was $672,942 to Hazelwood Construction Services for the completion of the Downtown Enhancement Project, followed by $579,337 to Sunstone Ridge Developments.
VOP revenue dropped to $8.4 million in 2020 (down from $13.5 million in 2019, and well below the $14 million budgeted at the beginning of the year prior to COVID), while expenses climbed from $6.4 million to $7.1 million.
The Village had $8.2 million in cash and cash equivalents at the end of 2020, compared to $5.1 million at the end of 2019.
Read the full SOFI report online at pemberton.ca/government/budget.
Council also received both the 2019 and 2020 Annual Reports at the July 13 meeting, which highlight some of the major accomplishments of the past two years.
“Unfortunately, last year we were unable to complete our annual report because of COVID and the restructure of duties prevented us from being able to fully complete it,” Fraser said in a presentation to council, in explaining why both reports were being presented at once.
“This year we’ve taken a bit of a different approach and we’ve looked at it from the standpoint of council’s strategic priorities.”
Some of those priorities included an economic development strategy, an update to Pemberton’s Official Community Plan, affordable housing, asset management, daycare expansion and a community climate action plan (to name just a few).
While action on some of the priorities is in a “holding pattern,” the report offers details on where each priority stands, “and gives a good overview of everything that we at the staff level have been doing to move council’s priorities and initiatives forward,” Fraser said.
Some priorities have been delayed due to COVID, “but we will be moving back and bringing those forward as we continue on as we get through the recovery stage and get back to normal,” she added.
This year’s Annual Report also includes statistics showing how Pemberton is growing, including population (from 3,024 in 2019 to 3,103 last year, an increase of 2.6 per cent), building permits (100 in 2020, up from 87 in 2019), business licences (416, up from 399) and even Facebook interactions (a whopping 15,313 in 2020 compared to 3,549 in 2019).
Another interesting inclusion is a timeline of events related to the COVID-19 pandemic, from when the pandemic was declared and Pemberton saw its first presumptive case to the ministerial order requiring masks in indoor spaces on November 25.
“This timeline will actually continue in our 2021 Annual Report as we report out over this year’s activities related to COVID,” Fraser said.
“It was an opportunity to give sort of a bit of a breakdown of where the province made announcements and the municipality’s response to those.”
Find the annual report online at pemberton.ca/government/annual-reports.
“I really hope people do access it. I think it really does give a good and fairly complete snapshot of all the work that goes on behind the scenes,” Richman said.
“Some things hit the headlines, some things catch the attention of our residents, others just go unnoticed, understandably, but I think there’s been a lot of work done over the last couple of years on a lot of really good activities.”