Asset Management – How the Pieces Fit Together….from a Local Government Chief Administrative Officer Perspective
Note to Reader:
On October 10, Asset Management BC and the Local Government Management Association of BC co-hosted a workshop in Richmond. A panel of three Chief Administrative Officers representing local governments from three geographic regions spoke to this topic: Asset Management – How the Pieces Fit Together.
Sustainable Service Delivery: View the Watershed through an Asset Management Lens
“The Town of Gibsons has recognized, formally and in practice, that nature, and the ecosystems services that it provides, are a fundamental and integral part of the Town’s infrastructure system. Gibsons is one of the first communities in North America to do so,” stated Emanuel Machado, Chief Administrative Officer, and a member of the CAO Panel.
“The Town is blessed with valuable natural assets such as the Gibsons Aquifer which provides high quality untreated drinking water; three major creeks that are a major part of the rainwater management system; and a foreshore area, still mostly natural that protects the area from sea activity. Other natural assets include forested areas, green space and soil. Minerals and the marine environment are also important, but they do not deliver a direct municipal infrastructure service.”
“The policy change occurred with the adoption of the 2013/14 Strategic Plan. This hybrid document combines a sustainability framework with a more traditional strategic plan.”
“Natural assets are considered cheaper to operate; can last indefinitely, if properly managed; and are carbon neutral, and in some cases can be carbon positive.”
“It is important to differentiate green infrastructure, which is designed and built to mimic nature, such as a rain garden, from a natural asset such as a creek. Gibsons is also creating sub-categories in asset lists and financial statements to include Eco-Assets and implementing a strategy to manage these assets specifically.”
“Ultimately, the goal is to move from simply maintaining infrastructure to a service delivery model, where those services are delivered by the smallest number, the most natural, most energy energy-efficient, and the most reliable municipal assets, that cost the least to operate over the long term,” concludes Emanuel Machado.
To Learn More:
To read an article that elaborates on the provincial context for the Town of Gibsons “design with nature” approach to asset management, click on Provincial Funding in British Columbia Linked to Viewing Watersheds through a “Sustainable Service Delivery” Lens.