Comox Valley Local Governments Showcase a Regional Response to Tackling the 'Infrastructure Liability'
Note to Reader:
Originally planned for Fall 2010, the third annual Comox Valley Learning Lunch Seminar Series has been rescheduled to Spring 2011. Furthermore, the spotlight has shifted from a ‘regional response to climate change’ to the financial challenges associated with replacement of aging municipal infrastructure. Climate change is now a sub-theme.
In December 2010, the CAVI-Comox Valley Regional Team hosted a bridging event between the 2009 and 2011 series. Conducted as a town-hall sharing and learning session, the Developers Dialogue has materially informed program development for the 2011 Series.
Green Infrastructure Solutions & Water Sustainability Outcomes
Green infrastructure and water sustainability — the Comox Valley on Vancouver Island is a provincial demonstration region for showcasing the benefits of a ‘regional team approach’. A convergence of interests has created an opportunity for the four local governments to set their sights on the common good, challenge the old barriers of jurisdictional interests, and align efforts at a watershed scale.
A Regional Team Approach
“Commencing in 2007, the four governments in the Comox Valley have been collaborating under the umbrella of Convening for Action on Vancouver Island, known by the acronym CAVI. Through a program of continuing education, we are aligning efforts, building leadership capacity, and striving for consistency at our front counters,” reports Glenn Westendorp, Public Works Superintendent with the Town of Comox, and Chair for the 2011 Learning Lunch Seminar Series.
“The theme for the 2011 Series is A Regional Response to Infrastructure Liability. The initial capital cost of municipal infrastructure is about 20% of the life-cycle cost. The other 80% represents an unfunded liability. This is a driver for a change in the way local governments plan, finance, implement and over time replace infrastructure. The 2011 Series will focus on why and how all those involved in land development have a role to play in achieving Sustainable Service Delivery.”
Comox Valley Developers Dialogue
When the CAVI-Comox Valley Regional Team hosted the ‘Comox Valley Developers Dialogue’, the purpose was to initiate a conversation with the Comox Valley development community about collaboration, alignment and consistency in a local government setting.
“We saw this as an opportunity for the local development community and local government staff to focus on how we can all work together towards low environmental impact development; and how we can better understand each others’ needs to accomplish the tasks at hand,” explains Nancy Hofer, Environmental Planner with the City of Courtenay.