The cost to run Surrey increased by $100 million in 2013 from the year prior. Much of that increase can be attributed to the Build Surrey program

Surrey’s costs balloon in 2013

Aggressive 'Build Surrey' program, which included new city hall, accounts for much of the $100-million increase.

It cost $100 million more to run the City of Surrey last year, compared to 2012, according to recently released financial figures.

The 2013 Statement of Financial Informations details how much money was received by the city and where it was spent.

In total, Surrey spent $760 million last year, a 16-per-cent jump from the year prior, which totalled $655 million.

Of those total expenses, $601-million went to third party suppliers, a jump of almost $100 million from the year prior. (That year represented a $50-million increase from 2011).

The increase in third-party suppliers is mostly due to an extremely aggressive “Build Surrey” program that includes a $100 million city hall, recreation centres, pools, etc.

The city also spent $161 million in staff salaries, expenses and benefits, up $8 million in 2012.

Staff costs increased as part of a collective agreement, recently reached with CUPE members, which included a sizeable retroactive payment.

The big earners with the city were former city manager Murray Dinwoodie who, with salary, benefits and expenses, earned $395,412 in 2013. He was followed at a distant second by General Manager of Finance Vivienne Wilke at $259,188, then Manager of Parks, Laurie Cavan ($253,096), former General Manager of Engineering Vincent LaLonde ($249,477),  Fire Chief Len Garis ($238,823) and General Manager of Planning and Development Jean LaMontagne ($235,001).

Last year, city council members cost the city $805,000, a marginal increase from the year prior ($798,000). About $650,000 of that was salaries (generally $66,000 each for councillors and $122,000 annually for the mayor). In addition, councillors submitted $138,863 in expenses.

The biggest spender on council was Mayor Dianne Watts, who rang up $35,348 on her expense account – a $7,000 hike from the year prior.

Coun. Bruce Hayne was close behind with a civic tab of $24,068, and Coun. Linda Hepner followed at $17,484.

Coun. Barinder Rasode expensed $16,523 on her civic account, while Coun. Tom Gill charged $12,187. The remainder of council came in at under $10,000, with Coun. Barbara Steele at $9,941,  Coun. Judy Villeneuve ($9,790), Coun. Marvin Hunt ($7,333) and the most frugal councillor Mary Martin coming in at $6,189.

The Statement of Financial Information is a provincially mandated document which must be filed every year before the end of June.


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