A staff report detailing the progress toward development of a municipal Asset Management Plan was discussed by council during their January 13th Committee of the Whole Meeting. The report was penned by Arryn McNichol.
As per provincial regulation, the municipal asset management plan must be updated by July 1st of this year. Speaking to council, McNichol itemized the contents of the report, with an overview of each section of the plan.
McNichol noted what the legislation speaks to, where the municipality currently stands and where the municipality is going.
The strategic Asset Management Plan policy was originally done July 1, 2019.
“The State of the local infrastructure section of an Asset Management Plan answers three important questions: (1) What do we own? (2) What is it worth? (3) What condition is it in? Answering these questions requires a municipality to collect and organize its asset data,” wrote McNichol.
He also noted the municipality is currently completing data capture templates for its core assets. These assets can be divided into the following categories:
Buildings and land holdings
County Fleet vehicles
Fire equipment and vehicles
Parks and recreation facilities
Long term care assets
As per McNichol’s report, those with an asterisk are considered, by the provincial government to be core assets.
McNichol reflected on the importance of public engagement, as assets are, by their nature, intended to be of service to the public.
“Assets exist to provide service and this service has value to the municipality, public, and industry. This value primarily affects the residents and public at large. The Municipality can optimize value and service delivery from seeking the public’s involvement in developing and reviewing all elements associated with the development of the updated AMP. Forms of public engagement can include feedback received from the recent capital budget approval, master plan approvals, or expectations for levels of service. Although the public can attend the Council meeting when the updated AMP is approved, the public should be invited to comment on the updated AMP during development, particularly regarding the identification of service levels,” stated McNichol in his report. “This could come in the form of using community engagement software, open houses or the completion of surveys. Overall, with better asset data and processes in place, the County will be able to work more efficiently and effectively on the major components of the Asset Management Plan, including defining risk, lifecycle strategies and levels of service.
Councillor John Hirsch inquired as to the state of green infrastructure.
“We finally got to the state that some of us have been waiting three years to get to Regarding green infrastructure, can you confirm that these are not for July this year but for 2024,” queried Hirsch.
McNichol confirmed that council will only need to consider core assets in 2022.
CAO Marcia Wallace concluded the meeting by emphasizing the value of having someone within the municipality, such as McNichol, to specialize in asset management.
“I just want to emphasize we’ve spent the last couple years working as a team developing experts in each department, in addition to the department head, a key staff person who is the asset management lead,” she said. “That now exists in most departments that have an asset class.”
Wallace also stressed that the municipality had worked hard over the past couple of years to create a culture around asset management.
“We’ve spent a lot of work building a culture around asset management. You’ll start to see that in the capital budget and the way the conversation happened around how we manage assets,” said Wallace.
She also stressed the importance of regarding asset management not as the work of one person, but as a cultural attitude.
“I think it’s really important it not be seen as a single person in this corporation. Asset management is a cultural attitude. That’s what’s changed in the last couple of years,” Wallace stated.