By Cole Parkinson
With the Municipal District of Taber continuing to work on their asset management project, an opportunity has been brought to council to further their efforts.
During M.D. council’s regular meeting on December 11, councillors were brought up to date on Rural Municipalities of Alberta (RMA), Alberta Urban Municipalities Association (AUMA) and Infrastructure Asset Management Alberta (IAMA) organizing an asset management capacity-building cohort.
“Essentially what it is, is we didn’t receive any funding from FCM (Federation of Canadian Municipalities). This group is through RMA and did receive funding from FCM. They are proposing to put together a workgroup and use those grant funds to include other municipalities like the M.D. of Taber who did not get grant funding to do some networking and training in regard to asset management. We previously did approve a budget to go ahead and what we’re proposing is to use that budget and have staff participate in this workgroup,” said Bryan Badura, director of corporate services.
The cohort has no fee to participate and would offer group learning activities, support from the project team and asset management experts are provided free of charge for the duration of the project.
The only cost for the M.D. would be around travel expenses.
In terms of their assets management activities, the M.D. has set aside $19,000 for council and asset management team training, $40,000 for policy development and scope assessment and $50,000 for completion of asset inventory and condition assessment.
They had hoped to acquire FCM funding which would have been up to eight per cent of total eligible project costs to a maximum of $50,000 while the projects would need to be completed within 11 months from funding approval notice, though they were notified they would not be getting any money.
With other municipalities in the same boat as the M.D. of Taber, the goal of the cohort group is to share as much asset management knowledge as possible.
“The intent is to create an environment where municipalities can share information and learn from each other. A best practices model at the end is what I was told was the goal of the project and it goes through these three main leading steps to create a policy, a plan and the implementation piece for asset management. As a cohort of municipalities getting together to do this, that is the reason they are suggesting this be a one on one. The cohort is an opportunity for us to have those discussions at a detailed level,” added Bryce Surina, director of GIS and IT.
With council already committing to their asset management project, they continued to express their desire to keep moving forward.
A motion was made to direct staff to apply for the asset management cohort program opportunity from the RMA, AUMA and IAMA, the M.D. commits staff and other personnel to participate in the asset management cohort program to advance their asset management program and for the M.D. of Taber to commit financial support from their budget toward the costs of this initiative for staff travel and accommodation. The motion was passed unanimously.