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Asset Management

What is Asset Management Planning?

Asset management planning is an ongoing and long-term process that allows municipalities to make the best possible investment decisions for their infrastructure assets. This includes:

  • building
  • operation
  • maintenance
  • renewal
  • replacement
  • disposal

In many parts of Ontario, existing infrastructure is degrading faster than it is being repaired or replaced, putting services at risk. To help address this issue, the Province implemented the Asset Management Planning for Municipal Infrastructure Regulation, O. Reg. 588/17, effective January 1, 2018.

The goal of this regulation is to help improve the way municipalities plan for their infrastructure. The regulation builds on the progress municipalities have made while bringing consistency and standardization to asset management plans to help spread best practices throughout the sector and enable the collection of comparable data.

July 1, 2019

  • Strategic Asset Management Policy
    • Requires municipalities to outline commitments to best practices and continuous improvement

July 1, 2021

  • Asset Management Plan: Phase 1 For core assets
    • Inventory of assets
    • Current levels of service measured by standard metrics
    • Costs to maintain levels of service

 July 1, 2023

  • Asset Management Plan: Phase 2 Include all assets
    • Inventory of assets
    • Current levels of service measured by standard metrics
    • Costs to maintain levels of service

July 1, 2024

  • Asset Management Plan: Phase 3
    • Builds on Phase 1 and 2 by adding:
      • Proposed levels of service
      • Lifecycle management and Financial strategy

Purpose of an Asset Management Plan

The asset management plan outlines the Municipality’s planned approach for the acquisition and maintenance of its infrastructure,  which in turn allows the Municipality to meet its stated mission and mandate by supporting the delivery of services to its residents.  In achieving this objective, the asset management plan:

  • Provides elected officials, Municipal staff, funding agencies, community stakeholders, and residents with an indication of the Municipality’s investment in infrastructure and its current condition;
  • Outlines the total financial requirement associated with the management of this infrastructure investment, based on recommended asset management practices that encompass the total life cycle of the assets;
  • Prioritizes the Municipality’s infrastructure needs, recognizing that the scope of the financial requirement is beyond the capabilities of the Municipality and that some form of prioritization is required; and
  • Presents a financial strategy that outlines how the Municipality intends to meet its infrastructure requirements.

It is important to recognize that the asset management plan is just that – a plan.  The asset management plan (which has been prepared for the purposes of meeting the requirements of the Municipal Infrastructure Investment Initiative) does not represent a formal, multi-year budget for the Municipality.  The approval of operating and capital budgets is undertaken as part of the Municipality’s overall annual budget process.  Accordingly, the financial performance and priorities outlined in the asset management plan are subject to change based on future decisions of Council with respect to operating and capital costs, taxation levels, and changes to regulatory requirements or the condition of the Municipality’s infrastructure.

Our 2014 Asset Management Plan is available.

The Province of Ontario established a Municipal Modernization Program for funding to undertake expenditure reviews with the goal of finding service delivery efficiencies and lowering costs in the longer term.

The objective of our project was to conduct a service delivery review of our public communication, Public Works, and Fire Department Services, along with administration and shared services with the goal of increasing capacity and efficiency through modernization.

Through our application in November 2019, our municipality received $50,880.00.

In 2020, the process was completed with a Service Delivery Review Report submitted to Council in September 2020.

 

Infrastructure Asset Inventory

Municipalities are required to provide summary-level information on each asset category, if applicable, including:

  • asset types (for example, urban arterial road, rural arterial road, watermains) and quantity/extent (for example, length in kilometers for linear assets)
  • replacement cost valuation (replacement cost valuation is forward-looking and accounts for expected inflation, changes in technology, and other factors)
  • the average age of the assets in the category
  • asset condition, including a description of the municipality’s approach to assessing the condition of assets in the category (for example, this could include categorizing the proportion of assets in “good,” “fair” and “poor” condition)

The municipality must indicate how the background information and reports used to inform the summary-level information for each asset category will be made available to the public.

Levels of service

The levels of service component of an asset management plan describes what people experience from the municipality’s infrastructure. For example, bridges without load restrictions can offer a relatively higher level of service compared to bridges that do not allow heavy freight vehicles.

The regulation requires municipalities to determine the levels of service that their infrastructure assets provide using metrics. These metrics will help municipalities determine, for each asset category, the current levels of service provided by their infrastructure assets and allow them to establish proposed levels of service they want to achieve over time.

Current Service Levels

When determining the current levels of service, it is important to use data from, at most, the two calendar years prior to the year in which the current levels of service are established.

Proposed Service Levels

When establishing the proposed levels of service for each of the next 10 years, the municipality must explain why the proposed levels of service are appropriate. See the section entitled ‘Timing of Regulation’ for additional information regarding the phasing for this requirement.

Metrics

Metrics are provided in the regulation for core infrastructure assets. The metrics are focused on the scope and reliability of the service and address community levels of service (a qualitative description or image of the services experienced by the people using the asset) and technical level metrics (a quantitative figure that describes the level of service provided by the asset, for example, the percentage of bridges in the municipality with loading or dimensional restrictions). Municipalities are required to establish their own metrics for non-core assets.

Lifecycle Management and Financial Strategy

By July 1, 2024, the regulation requires municipalities to determine the lifecycle activities that would need to be undertaken for each asset category over a 10-year period to provide the proposed levels of service.

Lifecycle Activities

The regulation requires municipalities to identify lifecycle activities based on the options they have considered.

Good asset management planning requires a complete understanding of the range of choices available to municipalities. The analysis must consider: the entire lifecycle and associated costs related to the assets; risks; and financial viability of the options considered.

Financial Considerations

The financial component of the strategy must include the estimated costs of the identified lifecycle activities to achieve the proposed levels of service, as well as the funding available, for each year of the full 10-year period.