Asset Management Plan (2022)

The District’s 2022 Asset Management Plan safeguards service delivery and incorporates natural assets for the first time

Date Adopted: June 2022

Objective: To safeguard the delivery of essential services long into the future. 

Related Master Plans/Strategies: Natural Asset Management Strategy

 

With $883 million in assets to manage, the District of Squamish has adopted an updated Asset Management Plan (AMP) to safeguard the delivery of essential services long into the future. For the first time, the District has also developed a management plan to manage $1.6B in natural assets that provide municipal services such as drinking water supply and stormwater conveyance.

Asset management is about responsible planning for the replacement, maintenance, acquisition and disposal of assets rather than replacing assets once they fail, which usually costs more and creates service disruption. Work is beginning now to build on the budgeting process and develop a more robust Long-Term Financial Plan to achieve funding levels recommended in the plan.

The AMP and Natural Asset Management Strategy (NAMS) were adopted in June 2022 to inform long-term financial planning, decisions on funding levels, communications with the community on service levels and funding needs, and improvements to asset data and asset management processes and practices.

The AMP and NAMS address key questions: what assets does the District own or utilize, how much are they worth, when do they need to be repaired or replaced, and how much is needed to invest in them. It also recommends developing near- and long-term funding requirements to manage these assets over time.

Why is asset management important?

The goal of asset management is to achieve sustainable service delivery long into the future, looking ahead to the next generation of residents. Decisions are made to avoid any misalignment between the level of service that is being provided and funding levels required to sustain it.

Failure to properly manage assets can result in service interruptions due to failing infrastructure or declining level of service over time, and ultimately, erosion of public trust. Good asset management processes and practices help mitigate these problems.

 

What assets do we have and what is their value?

The District manages approximately 630 kilometres in linear assets which include water, wastewater, and drainage assets and roads, and approximately 1,400 non-linear assets which include various facilities, equipment, and other infrastructure.

Examples of current assets include:

  1. Sewer, water and drainage infrastructure
  2. Vehicles and large equipment
  3. Information technology
  4. Parks, playgrounds and playing fields, including the cemetery
  5. Bridges, roads and sidewalks
  6. Streetlights
  7. Facilities including all buildings as well as the landfill, pump stations and wells

The District has a total asset replacement value of approximately $883M – the equivalent of over $42,000 per capita.

Compared to similar-sized municipalities, the estimated replacement cost per capita is likely higher due a number of factors:

  • The assets are significant and diverse, especially in the area of flood protection, given the geography and climate of Squamish.
  • The District is responsible for its own water supply and wastewater treatment facilities (unlike many other municipalities in MetroVan and other areas where this service is provided by the regional district).
  • Developed areas are spread out which requires longer roads, water mains and sewer mains to service the population.
What is Natural Asset Management and what is the value of these assets?

The District’s natural assets are natural resources that provide both ecological and municipal services such as drinking water supply and stormwater conveyance. Through protecting and enhancing these natural powerhouses (e.g. the Ring Creek Aquifer that provides Squamish’s drinking water or wetlands, creeks and ponds that serve to collect and convey stormwater), the community can avoid costly investments into purpose-built infrastructure.

The value of these natural assets that deliver municipal services is valued at $1.6B. Assets that deliver ecological services have not been valued at this time.

Examples of the District’s natural assets inventory include:

  1. Creeks
  2. Estuary
  3. Forests
  4. Grasslands
  5. Squamish River
  6. Wetlands
  7. Ring Creek Aquifer
  8. Shrub Lands
  9. Ponds/Lakes

 

Why are we doing this?

The District completed its first AMP in 2010. Since that time, implementation of the plan’s recommendations have included:

  • An increase to funding in the wastewater and water utilities
  • Improved asset inventory and condition information
  • Annual benchmarking
  • Improved plans for infrastructure renewal

The District began a new cycle in 2020 with the development of an AMP update.

At the same time, Council expressed a strong desire to incorporate natural assets into the AMP Update. Consequently, the NASM has been incorporated into the plan.

The total replacement value of assets increased from $437M in the 2010 AMP to $883M in the 2022 AMP due to significant community growth as well as the incorporation of additional assets not considered within the 2010 AMP.

 

When should our assets be replaced?

The plan suggests a high-level remaining lifespan of the District’s assets based on asset age, noting facilities and drainage as nearer-term priorities that will require significant replacement costs.

The District can anticipate infrastructure rehabilitation or replacement needs for multiple asset types in approximately 20 years. Planning for these financial needs will take place through the development of a Long-Term Financial Plan that will be presented to Council and the community in 2023.

The AMP includes recommendations to update master plans for all critical assets and follow their guidance for near-term funding requirements. The AMP will be updated every five years to capture any new additions to the asset inventory.

 


View the plans
  1. View the District’s Asset Management Plan update.
  2. View the Natural Asset Management Strategy.
  3. View the District’s suite of Master Plans and Strategies.

 

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