2020 posts

ASSET MANAGEMENT FOR SUSTAINABLE SERVICE DELIVERY: “The question often comes up, when is asset management over or complete? As long as you own assets, never! The process is not static, but the inputs are constantly changing as assets are added, deleted, replaced, or upgraded,” wrote Wally Wells, Executive Director of Asset Management BC, in the Summer 2020 Newsletter

“The primary cause of the ‘infrastructure gap’ is that we operate on today’s budgets without much attention to the ageing assets and future requirements for replacement or renewal. Or at least that is the way we operated up until now. The asset management process provides the tools to address this gap and hopefully prevent the gap from growing by planning, methodically, for the short and long term. The BC Framework is deliberately titled, “Asset Management for Sustainable Service Delivery: A BC Framework”. The operative word is ‘sustainable’ — both economically and physically,” stated Wally Wells.

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ASSET MANAGEMENT FOR SUSTAINABLE SERVICE DELIVERY: “We are still at the front end of our asset management journey, but we have been able to adapt to this unexpected change in operating conditions brought on by the global health pandemic,” stated Austin Tokarek, Asset Coordinator with the Cowichan Valley Regional District (Asset Management BC Newsletter, Summer 2020)

“Prior to this change, the CVRD, as an organization, recognized the value of a Strategic Asset Management Plan that defines levels of service, includes a risk management framework for managing climate change impacts, identifies infrastructure condition and priorities for renewal projects, and that attempts to identify future demand scenarios and break down the functional silos established by each department. This strategy enables an understanding of the systems within our community, interactions between staff, infrastructure requirements, defined service levels, and the costs to deliver those services,” stated Austin Tokarek.

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INFRASTRUCTURE ASSET MANAGEMENT IN BRITISH COLUMBIA: “Glen Brown has provided leadership at a provincial scale to transform the phrase ‘sustainable service delivery’ into an actionable vision for local government,” states Kim Stephens, Executive Director, Partnership for Water Sustainability

The 20/80 Rule refers to the initial capital cost of municipal infrastructure being about 20% of the ultimate total cost, with the other 80% being an unfunded liability. This is a driver for doing business differently. “Tackling the unfunded infrastructure liability involves a life-cycle way of thinking about infrastructure needs and how to pay for those needs over time. This holistic approach is described as Sustainable Service Delivery. The link between infrastructure asset management and the protection of a community’s natural resources is an important piece in Sustainable Service Delivery,” stated Glen Brown.

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COURTENAY’S ASSET MANAGEMENT BYLAW DECISION: “It was critical to carefully draft the content so it would rest upon a solid legal foundation, stay within Council’s authority, and be consistent with existing legislation and our own bylaws and policies,” stated David Love, the City’s Senior Advisor for Strategic Initiatives

“Once committed to ‘uprating’ our Policy to a Bylaw, the first step was to identify the distinction between the two. By doing this we verified a policy is a general statement of objectives to guide decisions on a particular matter. A policy may be readily altered by Resolution or at Council’s discretion, or even disregarded in decision-making with little or no legal or political consequence. If Courtenay was to become one of the few local governments to adopt an AM Bylaw in Canada, and possibly the first in BC, some staff work had to be done,” explained David Love.

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ASSET MANAGEMENT FOR SUSTAINABLE SERVICE DELIVERY: “As an industry, we have done a very poor job of educating our community on stormwater infrastructure issues, especially on the connection between cost of service and level of service,” wrote Hal Clarkson, Certified Asset Management professional

“Across the country, our aging and crumbling stormwater infrastructure is causing localized flooding, water quality issues, road closures, delays in emergency response and loss of commerce. To make matters worse, our community officials and citizens often do not understand how a drainage system works or the effort required to keep it functioning at an acceptable level of service. My colleague, Brian Bates, refers to stormwater as the ‘forgotten infrastructure’, and he is right,”stated Hal Clarkson.

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