Wednesday, November 25, 2020

November 23 Council Meeting: The unsexy but necessary Asset Management Policy

Talking about asset management policies and programs would likely work as an effective sleeping aid to most people. For municipalities, asset management is essential to ensure that we keep our infrastructure well maintained for the least amount of money over each infrastructure component's whole life.

Langley City maintains water, sanitary sewer, and storm sewer lines. The City also maintains roads, sidewalks, pathways, streetlights, street signs, bus stops, and traffic lights. The City maintains parks, playgrounds, pools, and culverts. The City looks after community centres, city hall, a fire hall, an operations centre, and fleet vehicles and machinery. The City is also responsible for digital infrastructure.

This City has been maintaining infrastructure with traditional methods for many years. City staff are now working on a modern asset management program with more advanced policies than traditional infrastructure maintenance programs.

Take installing a water main. In the past, the City might have purchased the cheapest water mains using the lowest cost method to install. Because of this choice, the pipe might only have a useful life of 50 years. The installation method might have been the cheapest, but it could result in the pipe being more susceptible to future damage. This means that while the initial cost of the pipe was cheap, there are higher on-going costs.

Modern asset management would call for buying a pipe that lasts for 100 years and spending more money on the initial installation to reduce future damage. While the initial cost of the pipe was higher, the on-going cost would be lower. Unlike the 50 year pipe, it would also not need to be replaced in 50 years, ensuring a lower total lifecycle cost.

This is just a simple example of one part of a modern asset management program.

City council adopted a formal Asset Management Policy on Monday. This policy aligns all municipal departments towards modern asset management practices.

The City has been working towards a modern asset management program for many years. One of the first steps in a modern program is to identify all your assets, including their condition.

To date, the City staff have inspected:
Storm sewer mains: 31km of 82km (38%)
Sanitary sewer mains: 70km of 94km (75%)
Water mains: 0km of 101km
Pavement: 112km (100%)
Vehicle Bridges: 7 (100%)
Pedestrian Bridges: 10 of 16 (63%)
Buildings: 0 of 25
Parks: 0 of 26
Vehicle Fleet: 0 of 102

A modern asset management program is on-going. It will help improve decision-making to ensure that the City is maintaining assets with the lowest total life costs.

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