Recent History – 2001
April 19, 2001
By Mark Nielsen, Daily News Staff
Dawson Co-op members voted in favour of some changes to their board of directors when the annual general meeting was held Wednesday night at Kids Kin Arena.
Juste Hendricks, Gordon Parslow, Wayne Janowsky, and Fred Lumnitzer were voted in. Lumnitzer was the only one sitting on the board prior to the election, and all were part of a slate of candidates.
Board of directors president Allen Watson was reluctant to say what the changes will mean for the direction Dawson Co-op will take.
“I have a basic idea of where they’re coming from based on their platform presentation, but sometimes that’s not exactly accurate either,” he said.
Regardless, Watson expects that plans for renovating the mall will be unveiled soon. “We were so close to that anyway,” he said. “Unfortunately, it just couldn’t be pulled together in time for the AGM.”
Turnout was 275 members, well down from the 926 that attended last year when controversy erupted over plans to tear down the mall in favour of a supermarket that would be leased from Federated Co-operatives Ltd. (FCL)
But compared to meetings in other previous years, the attendance was a healthy one — and some points statements were made and some tough questions were asked.
Concern was raised over the fact that if not for a pay-out from FCL, Dawson Co-op would have finished the year in the red. But Watson said afterwards that the situation is not as bad as it may seem.
“If you were to take away the loss incurred by selling out the family fashions department and closing it down, we wouldn’t have looked too badly at all,” he said.
“In spite of that I think we did quite well, and you can’t judge everything by the profit and loss. We’ve improved our position as far as the balance sheet is concerned.
“And next year we will have the additional revenue from a better agro centre that will enhance our overall picture as well, financially and help us once again to pay for the renovation cost.
“That’s the beauty of being a multi-faceted facility.”
Members approved a patronage dividend payout of $691,418, amounting to an average return of 2.98 per cent.
General manager Jeff Ambrose reported an operating loss of $1.2 million for the year, most of which he attributed to several one-time losses.
The food floor finished $390,000 in the hole due largely to an 8.8 per cent drop in sales. “Given a full year of competition against the new Safeway store, we felt this wasn’t too bad,” he said.
The hardware department finished with a loss of $641,000 due largely to the close-out of family fashions. Ambrose said the markdown of the inventory sold off during the closure last spring was about $524,000.
Home and Agro finished $177,000 in the red due to deflation in the lumber market, a $110,000 hit, and the write-off of the old home and agro centre, which had a book value of $72,000.
Petroleum finished slightly ahead, at $38,000. Although volume was strong, Ambrose said the gas war launched by Safeway and the re-opening of the Mohawk station cut into the margin.
A patronage refund of $1.6 million from FCL meant that Dawson Co-op finished the year with a net savings of $394,181.
Members approved a special motion that would require approval by the membership of any single purchase in excess of $750,000 or disposal of inventory worth more than $150,000 in any single year.
Changes in the proxy voting measures were also approved.