SUNDRE — The municipality’s council remuneration policy has been updated for the first time in many years.
The policy had previously been discussed, but had not been changed since 2014, with the exception of cost-of-living increases.
Linda Nelson, chief administrative officer, told council during a regularly scheduled meeting last month, that per diems would now be paid on an hourly basis, as opposed to the previous half- and full-day rates.
“So, for example, if a council member attends a meeting for three hours, the per diem collected is for three hours, rather than for four hours for a half-day,” said Nelson.
The policy outlines a per diem rate of $40 per hour to a minimum of two hours and maximum of seven hours, not including travel time and expenses like mileage, which is paid at the rate determined by Revenue Canada and has since 2015 increased from $0.55 per km for the first 5,000 kms driven and $0.49 per km after that, to the 2021 rate set at $0.59 per km for the first 5,000 kms driven and $0.53 per km driven after that.
“The policy, as written, will not change the amount allocated to council on an annual basis, meaning there is no increase to the budget,” said Nelson.
“This policy actually reduces the base salary paid to council,” she added.
The mayor’s annual base pay will — once the policy comes into effect on Jan. 1, 2022 after the upcoming municipal election — be $21,500, down from $23,616, while councillors will receive $12,650, down from $14,056.
Following a brief discussion, council unanimously proceeded to approve the policy.