Sep 12, 2018 Return to Headlines

UBCM Recognizes Coquitlam for Asset Management Excellence

by Michelle Frilund |

COQUITLAM, BC, Sept. 12, 2018 – The City of Coquitlam’s Asset Management Funding Framework received top marks at the Community Excellence Awards held at the 2018 Union of BC Municipalities (UBCM) Convention.

One of four Community Excellence Award categories, Excellence in Asset Management recognizes projects and programs that demonstrate a comprehensive system of asset management policies and practices that meet and/or exceed accepted best practices. Coquitlam’s Asset Management Funding Framework was selected from six applications as the winner in this category at this year’s UBCM Convention.

Formally introduced in 2017, the City’s Asset Management Funding Framework has been years in the making. Starting with a practical approach, sound financial policies and City Council decisions to make asset replacement a priority through incremental funding, the framework has progressed to a city-wide corporate approach that ensures all City assets – from roads to recreation centres to fire rescue equipment – are considered and managed effectively. The result is an integrated framework that provides a sustainable funding model for all City assets and infrastructure.

Amidst reports that public infrastructure funding needs are a nationwide issue, thanks to Coquitlam’s Asset Management Funding Framework, Coquitlam taxpayers can be reassured that their city’s assets will be maintained for generations to come. And, more importantly, these assets will continue to provide the same level of service for future generations without the undue financial burden facing other communities.

Why is Asset Management Important?

Asset management is one of local government’s primary responsibilities as the majority of municipal services provided to the community are dependent on the City’s infrastructure assets, including road and water utility networks, civic buildings and park infrastructure. Also included are operational vehicles, such as snow plows, and fire/rescue equipment.

Over the next 20 years, it is anticipated that communities across Canada will face considerable costs in order to replace or renew their existing capital assets. For many cities, the money to fund the necessary repairs and replacements will be in the millions and billions as funding has lagged behind the need.

In the absence of sound asset management practices, many communities will face a significant funding gap that will rest on the shoulders – and in the wallets – of future generations.

It is for this reason that Coquitlam sought to adopt a progressive and holistic approach to its asset management as this was deemed essential to sustaining the City’s capital assets and ensuring the community can continue to rely on these assets well into the future without facing an insurmountable financial burden.

Understanding Coquitlam’s Asset Management Funding Framework

Like most other municipalities, the City of Coquitlam owns a variety of assets that will require replacement or renewal in the coming years and decades. Valued at nearly $3 billion, these assets serve the community on a daily basis and contribute to the health, safety and quality of life of Coquitlam residents.

Led by the City’s Finance and Technology department, Coquitlam’s Asset Management Funding Framework brings together various departmental policies and programs under one corporate umbrella to deliver a strategic and consistent investment in the City’s assets . It provides a consistent methodology for calculating the target investment for unique asset categories, incorporating current needs and condition assessment.

Partnerships and Collaboration

While Coquitlam’s Asset Management Funding is led by the City’s Finance & Technology department, the hallmark of Coquitlam’s framework lies in the internal collaboration and corporate commitment to a holistic approach. Bringing together individual departments (including Finance & Technology, Strategic Initiatives, Engineering & Public Works, Coquitlam Fire/Rescue and Parks, Recreation & Culture) increases efficiency and decreases duplication and administrative burden. Citywide departmental involvement in the asset management planning ensures that the strategic direction presented to City Council for decision also takes into account the implementation and operational considerations of each department as well as the unique needs of their respective assets.

By integrating the framework leadership and administrative oversight under one department, regardless of departmental responsibility, the City of Coquitlam manages its assets in a cohesive way and using a consistent methodology.

About the UBCM Community Excellence Awards Program

The UBCM Community Excellence Awards Program recognize and celebrate UBCM member municipalities that have implemented projects and programs that demonstrate excellence in meeting the purposes of local government in B.C.  The awards are designed to profile promising practices and to create successful pathways and incentives for others to follow. Learn more at www.ubcm.ca.

Media contact:
Michelle Hunt
General Manager, Finance & Technology