Council gets a look into Mono’s updated asset management plan

October 6, 2022   ·   0 Comments

By JAMES MATTHEWS, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Municipal staff are on their way to having a comprehensive picture of Mono’s assets and their condition.

The town retained Watson and Associates Economists Ltd. to update its 2013 Asset Management Plan. The update will bring the asset management plan into compliance with provincial legislation enacted in July.

It will be a tool for municipal staff and council to use during various decision-making processes, including the annual budgeting process and future capital grant application processes.

Peter Simcisko of Watson and Associates provided council with a snapshot of the core assets portion of the management plan during its Sept. 27 meeting.

The updated management plan will focus on core municipal assets of roads, bridges and structural culverts, water service infrastructure, and the means by which stormwater is handled.

The main objective of an asset management plan is to use a municipality’s best available information to develop a comprehensive long-term plan for capital assets. The plan should provide a framework for continual improvement and updates of the plan, to ensure its relevancy over the long term.

Asset replacement costs have been pegged at $153-million. Roads account for 61 per cent of costs to replace assets, followed by structures at 17 per cent, water at 13 per cent, and stormwater infrastructure at nine per cent.

Having looked at the general characteristics and condition of roads and bridges, the assets supporting transportation services, Simcisko said they then considered the levels of services.

“This is important because this is where we’re shifting away from just looking at the assets themselves,” he said.

They took a look at assets with more of a “service lens,” he said.

That will provide a clearer understanding the services supported by the various assets, an understanding of how the community experiences those various services, and what aspects of the services are important to residents.

Work on the plan update notes that wastewater services are available in Mono’s Fieldstone subdivision. The wastewater infrastructure has not been assumed by the town and is therefore excluded from this asset management plan.

“The town is currently building a capital reserve for the unassumed wastewater system based on a rate study completed by Watson in 2014,” Simcisko wrote in a report to council.

A major theme within that policy is for the Town’s infrastructure assets to be managed in a manner that will support the sustainable provision of community services.

Through the implementation of the asset management plan, the town’s practices should evolve to be responsive to the levels of service that are being achieved. Infrastructure and other capital assets should be maintained at condition levels that provide a safe and functional environment for residents.

Therefore, the asset management plan and the progress, with respect to its implementation, will be evaluated based on the town’s ability to meet these goals and objectives.

Deputy Mayor Fred Nix said future work on infrastructure assets, such a paving a road next year, should be included in a financial strategy.

“We know the replacement costs of all our assets and we can develop a financial strategy for how we’re going to pay for them when we have to replace them,” Nix said. “There are assets that we do not now have, but we’re going to have to plan to either get them or replace them down the road.”

Simcisko said such “life cycle expenditures” will be included in the completed management plan.

“There’s going to be more direct accounting for growth-related projects,” Simcisko said.

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