Cost of running Surrey dropped last year

The city spent $655 million on capital projects and operations in 2014, down $65 million from 2013.

It cost about $65 million less running the city last year compared to the 2013, according to financial figures released by the city last month.

The 2014 Statement of Financial Informations details how much money was received by the city and where it was spent.

In total, Surrey spent $655 million running the city last year – an 8.5-per-cent drop from the year prior, in which $760 million was spent.

However, 2013 was an anomaly, with costs up significantly from the year prior, which totalled $555 million.

In all, last year and the year before, costs increased more than $100 million from 2012.

Money paid to third-party suppliers dropped last year by almost $20 million to $582.9 million.

Staff costs rose by $9 million to $170 million last year.,

The big earners with the city are former city manager Vincent Lalonde, who earned an annual salary of $250,212, followed by General Manager of Finance and Technology Vivienne Wilke, who earned $234,593, General Manager of Planning and Development Jean LaMontagne at $223,793, General Manager of Parks, Recreation and Culture Laurie Cavan at $221,926, General Manager of Operations Gerry McKinnon at $204, 662, Fire Chief Len Garis, who made $201,414, and City Solicitor Craig MacFarlane at $192,090.

Last year, city council rang up $635,056, a significant drop from 2013, when council cost $805,000.

The biggest drop was in salaries, partly due to a decision by exiting councillor Marvin Hunt to not collect a civic paycheque after he was elected to provincial office.

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