The Columbia Shuswap Regional District has obtained a $20,000 grant to initiate development of a comprehensive asset management policy and strategy in 2016.
The rationale for this is that good asset management practices are essential in the support of sustainable services delivery.
Asset management has been defined as an integrated process bringing together skills, expertise, and activities of people with information about a community’s physical assets and finances so that informed decisions can be made to support sustainable services delivery.
That’s a fancy way of saying that we need to use good management practices to ensure that we have the infrastructure and equipment needed to provide ongoing delivery of services to the community.
For example, the CSRD Fire Suppression services group has more than 50 pieces of apparatus valued at about $13 million in replacement costs.
Because the CSRD maintains fire engines that are less than 21 years old, and pumpers that are less than 29 years old, residents can obtain significantly reduced fire insurance rates.
Maintaining up-to- date equipment is also a good practice with respect to safe and efficient fire suppression procedures.
If we were to have a need to replace 10 pieces of fire suppression apparatus in a single year, this could prove to be an overwhelming financial burden for taxpayers, necessitating significant borrowing and additional costs.
Moreover, this type of event would also compromise the ability of future generations to meet their own service and infrastructure needs.
The CSRD utilizes and maintains approximately $60 million in infrastructure and equipment when all buildings, equipment, land and improvements, and vehicles are included.
To track these items, an asset management database is being developed which will note purchase cost and year, life expectancy, replacement cost and maintenance and infrastructure quality.
When completed, the database will enable CSRD directors to act proactively to identify ongoing capital needs and to develop plans to adequately fund replacement of aging equipment and/or infrastructure.
Within the CSRD budgets there are reserve accounts set up to enable us to build up funds needed to replace old and outdated equipment.
The asset management process will enable us to much more accurately forecast our reserve budget requirements in the years to come. It is a better way to manage and plan for the future.
– Paul Demenok is the Area C director for the Columbia Shuswap Regional District