Colwood’s Excellence in Asset Management

The Community Excellence Awards recognize and celebrate UBCM members that exhibit excellence in meeting the purposes of local government, and demonstrate successful pathways for others to follow. This week, the City of Colwood is highlighted as winner of the “Asset Management” category for its sustainable infrastructure replacement plan.

In this project, Colwood developed a Sustainable Infrastructure Replacement Plan that sets aside the appropriate budget amount each year to ensure funding is in place to avoid sharp, sudden tax increases required due to unanticipated infrastructure breakdown. The plan creates stable and predictable tax rates, avoids added debt servicing costs, takes advantage of investment returns, and supports the community's resilience to change. To accomplish this, the City of Colwood set out to accomplish the following objectives:

  • prepare an accurate inventory of all existing assets, natural or built; 
  • prepare long-term projections for the replacement of those assets; 
  • develop a strategy to ensure the infrastructure replacement is funded sustainably; 
  • develop sustainable asset management policies to support best practices and sustainability; 
  • promote intergenerational equity by ensuring all generations pay the same amount for capital services;
  • avoid sudden, sharp tax increases due to infrastructure replacement needs; 
  • avoid debt servicing costs and leverage investment returns for infrastructure funding; and 
  • prepare high-level condition assessments on all asset classes.

The City of Colwood embraced an innovative approach that demonstrates how a community can make meaningful and impactful positive steps without solving the entire challenge.  The City chose to use existing information, accepting that modelling can be refined incrementally over a number of years. This prevents the community from falling further behind in the infrastructure-funding gap. It also empowers the City’s Engineering Department to start preparing capital plans without needing to battle the uncertainty of sustainable funding sources. 

Colwood plans to conduct a refined review of the Plan in a few years to compare actual results to forecasts and quantify the benefits of the Plan’s implementation.

The Excellence in Asset Management category acknowledges UBCM members that develop comprehensive systems of asset management policies and practices that meet and/or exceed established best practices.

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