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Asset management policy provides framework

System supports the delivery of sustainable municipal service in Didsbury

DIDSBURY - Town council has approved a new policy that will provide a framework for the development of the town’s asset management system. 

The move came by way of motion at the recent regularly scheduled council meeting, held in person and online.

The management system supports the delivery of sustainable municipal service through the management of its assets, while considering the impact on both current and future residents, according to the new policy.

Through its annual budgeting process, council prioritizes asset management and makes resources available for implementation of the asset management system.

The purpose of the new policy is to “develop an asset management system to provide a structured approach for the development, coordination and control of asset-related activities across their lifecycle.

“An asset is defined as anything that will create value for the organization, not necessarily just tangible capital assets.”

The policy outlines both council and administrative and council objectives. Administrative objectives include the following:

• Establish an asset management steering committee that will be led by the directors of the Town of Didsbury.

• Develop, maintain and implement asset management plans, which are defined as a tactical plan for managing the town’s assets to deliver an agreed level of service.

These may include developing and maintaining an asset registry of all physical assets, determine and maintain replacement value of assets, determine and maintain the condition of assets and their expected service life, determine comprehensive cost of ownership of each asset including capital, operational, maintenance and decommissioning costs, establish optimum asset renewal and replacement strategies that are informed through the use of life cycle costing and risk analysis, and evaluate risks as part of the decision-making process.

The council objectives include the following: 

• Make informed decisions, identifying all revenue and expenses, including operating, maintenance, renewal, replacement and decommissioning, associated with asset decisions, including additions and deletions.

• Define and articulate asset performance, maintenance and replacement standards and outcomes.

• Consider the growth and infrastructure requirements of the town to ensure future generations can enjoy the same strong, vibrant community.

• Consider principles detailed in the town’s strategic and statutory plans.

• Prioritize options for sustainable infrastructure.

• Prioritize stakeholder engagement, when applicable, including local taxpayers and organizations, regional municipalities and provincial and federal organizations.

• Include the asset management system as part of the annual review of the multi-year capital plan.

The town’s strategic planning committee reviewed the new policy in September and recommended approval.

Franchise fees unchanged

In other news from the recent council meeting, councillors have decided to keep ATCO Gas and Fortis Alberta franchise fees unchanged in 2022, instead of referring the matter to the strategic planning committee.

The companies pay the Town of Didsbury annual franchise fees, which are collected from customers in the community based on a percentage of ATCO’s delivery tariff and on a percentage of Fortis’ distribution and transmission. The 2021 fee for ATCO is 25 per cent and for Fortis 17 per cent.

Administration had recommended that council refer the matter of the franchise fees to the committee and for the committee to bring back a recommendation to council.

“A decision to change the franchise fee rates is requested by Nov. 1 to allow enough time for advertising prior to Jan. 1, 2022 implementation,” administration said in a briefing note to council. 

Instead of sending the matter to the committee, councillors decided instead to keep the fees unchanged.

Dan Singleton

About the Author: Dan Singleton

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