District of Sparwood logo and flag. (Scott Tibballs / The Free Press)

District of Sparwood logo and flag. (Scott Tibballs / The Free Press)

Sparwood releases financial information for 2021

The district’s elected officials had a tiny little pay haircut in 2021 compared to 2020

Sparwood has released it’s statement of financial information (SOFI) documents for 2021, detailing expenses and remuneration for the year.

SOFI documents are a requirement of the province to ensure government transparency.

Sparwood’s seven elected officials were collectively paid $135,160 for 2021 – each councillor made $16,230, while Mayor David Wilks made $37,780.

The numbers represent a slight dip from what they were paid in the year prior, when councillors were paid $16,706, and Mayor Wilks was paid $38,888 – a drop of $475 for the councillors, and $1,108 for Wilks.

Wilks is also paid through his role as a director at the Regional District of East Kootenay, though RDEK’s own SOFI documents are yet to be released. In 2020 he was paid $21K for his role there.

For staff, the district paid out almost $4.5 million on remuneration, with $2.1 million going to the district’s 21 staff who earn over $75K annually. This represents a dip from 2020, when there were 23 staff who earned over $75K. However, the 2021 numbers do not capture the district’s current director of planning, who joined the district in the second quarter of 2021.

The top-paid employee of the district was as to be expected, the Chief Administrative Officer, Michele Schalekamp, who was paid $160,959 in 2021 – almost the same amount as in 2020, when she was paid $160,924.

Local government is also required to detail payments to suppliers of goods and services over $25K, of which the district paid 53 different suppliers over $4.6 million. Black Press Media, the owner of The Free Press, received $25,573. The largest single supplier was BC Hydro, to which the district paid $420K.

Finally, the district paid out $330,021 in grants that crested the $25K reporting threshold, with $29K going to the Michel Natal Sparwood Heritage Society, $69,698 to the Sparwood and District Chamber of Commerce, $30,500 to the Sparwood Golf Club, and $200,820 to the Sparwood Public Library.

SOFI documents from all municipalities must be completed, filed and publicly available prior to June 30 of each year, as per provincial regulation. The full Sparwood SOFI document is available on the district website.

READ MORE: A look inside the wallet: Elk Valley municipalities release financial info for 2020

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