Kelly Oakley Manager of Corporate Asset Management 705-739-4220 ext 4451Kelly.Oakley@barrie.ca
Municipal Asset Management Program (Federation of Canadian Municipalities)
Ultimately the goal of asset management is to deliver services at the desired level while minimizing costs and maintaining an acceptable level of risk.
Asset management considers what services the City delivers, the assets needed to deliver these services and which assets are critical to service delivery.
Assets only exist to support the delivery of services to the public. If a municipality doesn’t intend to provide recreation as a service they don’t need to own assets like pools and arenas. If another level of government provided drinking water, the City wouldn't need to build, operate or maintain water mains. There aren’t many services that exist that don’t require assets to support delivery.
Asset management is much broader than just planning for renewal of existing assets. To deliver a specific service level, the City must determine what type of assets are required, how many assets are required, and what condition they should be in. They City may need to build new assets or expand existing ones. Existing assets will need to be looked after, including day-to-day operations and maintenance and eventually renewal or replacement.
All of this information is collected in an Asset Management Plan (AMP) and the associated costs serve as input to financial planning exercises such as Long-Range Financial Plans (LRFP). If the LRFP output indicates that the financial model is not sustainable then the City needs to look at lowering service levels or increasing the amount of risk we accept. This is an iterative process.
The level of service that is desired will drive what assets are required and the level at which they need to perform.
As of January 2021, the City of Barrie owns nearly
$5 Billion worth of assets that support in excess of 60 services.
The CAM team provides valued information to senior staff and
City Council to facilitate better, more informed decisions, which are aligned with the City’s Financial Policy Framework. The City’s Corporate Asset Management Strategy and AMPs guide the management of the City’s many assets.
The 2006 – 2010 City Council identified “Initiate an Infrastructure Renewal Program to Prioritize Rehabilitation and Repair of Roads, Pipes and other City Assets” as one of their strategic priorities. In recognition, under the guidance of the Executive Management Team, the Corporate Asset Management team was created in November 2008. Barrie is one of a growing number of municipalities in Canada that implement asset management. Asset Management is a journey and the City’s practices are evolving and continuously improving.
Like most municipalities, the City of Barrie has a significant gap between the amount of money available each year to maintain its infrastructure and the amount of money needed to make sure infrastructure remains in a state of good repair.
This gap is funded partially by debt and the remainder of unfunded projects are delayed, which means some City facilities, roads, sidewalks, parks and other infrastructure don’t get the maintenance they need, when they need it.
Addressing the Gap: Dedicated Infrastructure Renewal Fund
In 2015 the City introduced the
Dedicated Infrastructure Renewal Fund to help address this problem by closing the gap. The fund is used only for the maintenance and rehabilitation of Barrie’s infrastructure and funded by 1% of the City’s property taxes.
Investing 1% of property taxes into a Dedicated Infrastructure Fund allows for increased, transparent funding to keep more of our infrastructure well maintained and avoid costly repairs, while reducing the City’s debt substantially.
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