Asset management plan helps City with priorities

Cranbrook will now have longer term picture for planning

City council approved the concept of developing an annual integrated capital program that is based on a 15 year integrated capital plan. At the June 9 meeting, council also approved the use of the 15 year asset management plan in development of future five year financial plans.

The 15 year asset management plan was put together by city administration based by priority on community needs and the cost.

CAO Wayne Staudt explained that it will allow city staff would use the document as a guide.

The document began its life in the hands of engineering staff, but has gone for input to all the city’s department managers.

“They’ve all put their heart and soul into this,” Staudt said. “There’s a lot of time and effort that’s gone into this.”

He said the document would become a feed document for staff to use to direct projects that they think should come forward in the five year financial plan.

“More important, as we move this out and get it out to the public, it gets the public involved in this asset management plan to some extent,” Staudt said.

“It gives them an idea of when their roads going to get done, because it does prioritize things.”

He said some of the projects that are already in the 15 year asset management plan could get shifted because the items would have a higher priority.

“The first couple of years of working with this and developing the five year financial plans I think a lot of things are going to come and go,” he said. “I would expect a five year financial plan to change so the items that are in there may very well get pushed further bad and some of these might move toward the front.”

Staudt said whatever was committed for the 2014 year will be carried out, but it will be the 2015 plan that the city will have to have a good look at what worked before.

“If we drop this, are we locking ourselves into the next several years to say this is what we’re going to do? Or do we do it on a year-to-year basis?” Coun. Angus Davis asked.

Staudt said while he wouldn’t use the term “locked in”, the city would be starting to make commitments for the next five years.

Coun. Diana J. Scott noted it’s the workers on the ground that have the expertise and  knowledge of what projects need to be done.

“Although we get to talk to them every year about what they need and what are their priorities, this is another really detailed way to for us get the bigger picture and to do some long-term planning,” Scott said, adding that as long as it has flexibility for future councils, she does support it.

Coun. Bob Whetham said the document is a good step forward to making decisions. He also noted that it’s adopted by resolution and not bylaw.

“It’s essentially a guideline for us to look at, realizing that if we take something out for 2015, it’s still join go there for 2016,” Whetham said. “I think it’s still going to be a useful tool.”

Coun. Sharon Cross said it’s meant to be flexible and organic as things can quickly change.

“It shows future council what they can expect during their term, and to prepare accordingly, then as things shift and change that’s where staff come forward,” Cross said.

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