Ferry fares and audit discussed at regional district meeting

The Skeena-Queen Charlotte Regional District Board had its monthly meeting on Friday where Steve Kietzmann, a representative from the accounting firm Carlyle Shepherd & Co, reported on the audit on the districts finances for 2010.

The Skeena-Queen Charlotte Regional District Board had its monthly meeting on Friday where Steve Kietzmann, a representative from the accounting firm Carlyle Shepherd & Co, reported on the audit on the districts finances for 2010.

According to the audit, the district ended the year with a surplus of $173,000, a big change from the previous year, where the district had racked up a large deficit of $527,000.  According to Kietzmann the reason for this is that the closure of the landfill took significantly less money than expected, and that the Islands Solid Waste Disposal program actually turned a profit of $46,000 instead of a massive $474,000 loss like it did in 2009.

Board members were pleased about the news of the surplus, but board chair Barry Pages pointed out that the in the auditor’s numbers the costs for mainland recreation dropped by $165,000 from 2009 and nobody on the board knew why that would be. If that were an error, the new surplus would end up looking more like breaking even. The issue was sent to staff to be checked.

Other business the board looked at was the upcoming efforts to fight fare increases and route eliminations in the north by BC Ferries. The City of Prince Rupert sent a draft of a resolution that they plan to put forward at the annual meeting of the North Central Local Government Association (NCLGA) next month.

The resolution would have the NCLGA council recognize the ferry service as a vital one and to come out against the consolidation of routes and fare increases being imposed by BC Ferries.  Director Evan Putterill pointed out that the resolution neglected to mention the Haida Gwaii communities at all, but talks about Prince Rupert, Prince George, Port Hardy and

Nanaimo.

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