Council endorses Guelph’s first asset management plan

First year of work provides better understanding of state of City’s infrastructure

Guelph, Ont., March 28, 2017—Council unanimously endorsed the City’s Corporate Asset Management Plan and Asset Management Policy at last night’s Council meeting.

The City’s first asset management plan outlines the processes and practices the City is undertaking to ensure its assets and services offer maximum value to the Guelph community.

“Asset management protects and enhances the quality of life in Guelph by informing the best possible decisions for our assets—such as pipes, buildings, roads and parks,” said Daryush Esmaili, Manager of Corporate Asset Management. “This plan is our roadmap for getting the best value and addressing the highest-priority needs with your tax and rate dollars.”

State of the assets

The City’s asset management program was started in early 2016 and since then, staff have been working to develop the asset management plan. The development of the plan revealed that some City assets are in better shape than originally thought, while there is more work to be done to maintain or replace others. About one quarter of the City’s $4.1 billion in assets are more than half way through their service life (how long the asset is useful), and the infrastructure backlog is estimated at about $500 million.

Assets with the shortest remaining service life (less than one fifth) include culture and recreation assets, information technology assets and parking assets. More than half of the City’s transit assets, and about half of the City’s wastewater assets have less than half of their remaining service life left.

“We knew the infrastructure backlog figure would increase after we completed our detailed analysis,” noted Esmaili. “Now we have a clearer picture, and we’re working on finding solutions that will provide our community with the best value for their tax dollars.”

The infrastructure levy and stormwater service fee, both approved by Council in 2016, were aimed at helping to address the City’s infrastructure funding gap. Federal and provincial government grants are another source for funding. Both levels of government have been increasing their financial support in recognition that municipalities share the common problem of aging infrastructure and replacement backlogs; and having an asset management plan puts the City in an ideal position to apply for these funding sources, as they become available.

What’s next

In 2017, the City will further develop its asset management program through a risk management study and a study that looks at the levels of City service in terms of community expectations, costs and capacity. The Levels of Service study will include opportunities for the community to get involved, starting later this spring.

Facts

  • The City has $4.1 billion in assets.
  • About one quarter of the City’s $4.1 billion in assets are more than half way through their usable service life.
  • Areas with assets that have about one fifth of service life left include culture and recreation, information technology, and parking.
  • Areas with assets that have between one fifth and one half of their original service life left include transit and wastewater.
  • The infrastructure backlog is estimated at about $500 million: $220 million in tax-supported infrastructure (e.g. roads and parks) and 271 million in rate-supported infrastructure (e.g. water, wastewater and stormwater).
  • Some areas need more investigation to increase the rating confidence of assets including contaminated sites, parking and stormwater.
  • Average capital costs over a 100-year period are estimated at $130 million per year.

Learn more about the City’s asset management program at guelph.ca/assets

For more information

Daryush Esmaili, Manager, Corporate Asset Management
Engineering and Capital Infrastructure Services
519-822-1260 extension 2765
daryush.esmaili@guelph.ca