Town of Princeton salaries increased by 20 per cent in 2020 over the previous year, according to the municipality’s Statement of Financial Information released Monday, June 21.
Last year the municipality paid its workers $2.38 million, compared to $1.99 million in 2019, a difference of $383,000.
According to town director of finance, the increase represents numerous factors, primarily the town’s decision to bring some services in-house which were previously contracted.
A Level 3 water operations specialist, historically under contract, was hired full-time by the works department, accounting for approximately $100,000 of the variance between years.
The town also hired a full time building inspector , a position under contract in 2019, said Graham.
About $50,000 of the increase is due to union contract requirements, and there were a handful of new hires, he added.
There is a new part-time worker at the municipal campground, a new part-time employee at the Visitors Centre, and a new administrative position was created.
“We run a pretty tight ship,” said Graham.
The Community Charter requires the public reporting of salaries of all municipal employees who earn more than $75,000. Lyle Thomas, CAO, was remunerated $141,151 in 2020, an increase over 2019 when he was paid $138,915. Director of finance James Graham and director of economic development Gary Schatz each earned $99,191 last year.
Four public works employees also earned more than the reporting benchmark, as did the director of infrastructure, manager of building services, manager of protective services, two administrative employees and the arena supervisor.
Princeton Mayor Spencer Coyne was paid $23,383 for his role in 2020, while four councillors each received $11,691. All council remunerations reflect an annual three per cent increase directed by bylaw.
Expenses for mayor and council ‘basically fell off a cliff” in 2020, according to Graham. Expenses claimed by all council members in 2020 totalled $498, compared to $25,800 in the previous year.
Graham described that as a COVID savings, with no Union of B.C. Municipalities conference held last year, and most other meetings conducted via Zoom with no travel expenses.
Schatz had the highest expenses submitted for all town staff, with $12,313 in receipts paid.
Graham said that amount is comprised of town purchases applied to Schatz own credit card, including a lease for a truck to be used in the municipal campground, and a camera to be used by staff. His expenses also include membersips to various economic and tourism groups.
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