Cobourg doing well with asset management requirements

By Cecilia Nasmith

Cobourg is doing so well with the provincially-mandated asset management process that it is roughly two years ahead of the time line to complete Phase I.

Director of engineering Laurie Wills explained at Monday's committee-of-the-whole council meeting that asset management is a data model designed to track assets

Assets, Wills added, are defined as any entity of value to an organization, In the case of Cobourg, this includes everything from buildings, streets, water mains and bridges to trees and playground equipment. The purpose of asset management is to provide the information needed to make the best decisions regarding each asset's care, maintenance, disposal and replacement in the most financially sustainable manner possible.

GIS co-ordinator Melanie Chatten updated council on the progress of the the program being prepared on the town's behalf with a map of its streets, colour-coded in terms of how soon each must be replaced – a window varying from two to 20-plus years.

Cobourg has had this project on the horizon since 2016, Chatten said.

“Prior to that, planning was strictly account-based. We wanted to take it to the next level with things like condition assessment, risk factors, life expectancy, service levels.”

Chatten explained the three components involved in making decisions on the roads.

The life-cycle mode deals with information about expected replacement and rehabilitation costs with a mechanism for awarding a score to each prospective work project that reflects when that might best take place.

The risk mode similarly produces a risk score to help prioritize projects, with “risk” defined as a matter of likelihood of failure and consequence of failure. It also takes into account the customers involved. For example, roads leading to the hospital would take priority over roads servicing a little-used railroad right-of-way.

The third mode is called decision-support tools, offering a chance to review and confirm decisions made.

The graphics illustrating the plan were in draft form, Chatten said, but they're really pretty well completed.

Phase 2 requires a more comprehensive set of data on other municipal assets, with a July 1, 2023 deadline.

Phase 3 requires these plans to include a discussion of proposed levels of service and a strategy to fund them, with a deadline of one year later.