What is Asset Management?
Local governments are responsible for maintaining an enormous quantity and variety of assets, ranging from major infrastructure such as hundreds of kilometers of roads and utilities, to items as small as the computers and telephones used by the city to provide service to the community.
Our residents and businesses depend on these services. It’s easy to take for granted that water will come out of the tap, or sewage flushed away – until something goes wrong.
As infrastructure ages, maintenance becomes an ever-increasing challenge. And just like with your car or your home, if not properly maintained these assets may fail much earlier than expected.
The goal of asset management is achieving “sustainable service delivery”: ensuring that current community services are delivered in a socially, economically, and environmentally responsible manner that does not compromise the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.
Sound Asset Management practices help minimize risks and long-term costs.
Asset Management in the City of Courtenay
In December 2019, Courtenay became one of the first municipalities in Canada to adopt an Asset Management Bylaw [PDF - 115 KB].
In Courtenay, the use of modern technology and new techniques for asset management has already begun to provide benefits.
As of 2017, Courtenay’s capital budget is now based on up-to-date detailed information on what assets have failed (such as road and trail surfaces) and which are projected to fail within two years.
The city has also begun developing a computerized maintenance management system to help operate all the existing assets for the longest possible duration and the lowest possible cost over their lifespan.
Practicing asset management involves identifying all the renewal needs of our assets, planning these renewals to avoid disruption of service, and devising a long-term financial strategy to pay for it.
Federal and Provincial Recognition
Senior governments have recognized the value of asset management, and government grants are increasingly focused on the communities that practice asset management principles.
In Courtenay, this has helped achieve a $1.01 million federal Gas Tax annual grant, $3.253 million federal/provincial capital grant for the Complete Streets pilot project, and $1.965 million for the 5th Street Bridge renewal.
This video from the Federation of Canadian Municipalities explains how asset management and sustainability can help communities.
- November 18, 2019 Council Report: Asset Management Bylaw [PDF - 276 KB]
- June 15, 2015 Council Report: Draft Asset Management Policy [PDF - 178 KB]
Other external resources: