Gateway Co-op holds annual information meetings

The Gateway Co-op held its annual information meetings in Sturgis on April 23 and in Canora at the Rainbow Hall on April 24.

Reports were delivered by Lyle Olson, president; Heather Prestie, financial office manager; and Brad Chambers, general manager.

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Olson explained the board’s roles and gave an overview on the financial situation.

Sales were reported at $35.8 million, which is an increase from last year of $5 million, he said.

 “Subsequently to year-end we approved an allocation to the membership of $574,134. Fuel sales were $22 million, an increase from $21 million from 2016.

"We received $1.56 million in patronage from Federated Coop. It was a net savings of $806,542, down from 2016. From the savings we allocated $471,000 back to the members with the remainder going into statutory and general reserve. Allocations were based on a percentage of fuel purchases, food, hardware and liquor,” he said.

Allocation cheques will be available on May 8 in Buchanan and Canora, and May 9 in Preeceville and Sturgis. The distribution will be held in conjunctions with a pancake breakfast in Preeceville and barbecues at other locations.

Olson spoke about the continued losses at the Sturgis and Buchanan branches. The contribution loss in Sturgis in 2017 was over $56,000. With its share of the overhead added there was a loss of $115,000 before patronage.

"We can not continue to subsidize the losses," Olson said. "These losses, along with some serious structural problems at the Sturgis building will force the board to make some very tough decisions. Buchanan is in a similar situation with losses of $56,000. The switch from a key-lock to a Cardlock is helping to generate some new revenue, but we need to address both locations for the best interest of Gateway Co-op," said Olson,

July 2017 saw the opening of the new C-store and liquor store in Canora.

“By year end we saw an increase of over $2 million in sales over last year,” said Olson. “At the end of October we closed the service bays at the old service station and have since sold the remaining equipment and inventory by auction.

“In 2017, we had anticipated the building of the cold storage lumber shed at Preeceville. With the retirement of our general manager, we were forced to put this project on hold for the time being. We continue to work with neighbouring co-ops, exploring areas where we could share services and find savings together. This season Gateway has partnered with Norquay in fuel distribution," stated Olson.

'We were also approached by the Rama Co-op in regards to amalgamation, but we have decided that at this time it was not a good fit for Gateway,” he said.

Heather Prestie reported on the financial situation.

"Investments in FCL increased approximately $156,000,” she said. “Fixed assets increased by $1.9 million, total current liabilities equal $2.1 million, the long term liabilities are 562,000, and members’ share capital decreased $11,903.

“Membership sales were strong with 303 new memberships sold in 2017,” she said.

Sales were recorded at $35 million with expenses at $5 million; loss from operations, $712,000, with $1.5 millions in patronage refunds for a net savings of $806,542.

Brad Chambers presented the general manager report followed by Lyle Olson giving the FCL annual meeting report.

“In Sturgis, sales increased by 3.5 per cent to $1,527,746. Operating expenses were $294,457 for a negative contribution of $56,018," said Chambers.

“Preeceville home centre sales increased by 6.8 per cent for recorded sales of $4,053,710, with operating expenses at $799,088 and local contributions of $76,321. The bulk petroleum sales increased by 25.8 per cent with sales of $7,609,016. Operating expenses were at $399,578 and there were local contributions of $111,028,” reported Chambers.

The election of delegates concluded the meeting portion. In Preeceville, Brain Myhr, Duane Karcha and Bob Lebo were all re-elected.

In Sturgis, Roy Pristie was re-elected. There was one position not filled.