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All municipalities own, operate, and maintain various infrastructure assets which have a limited service life. These assets can include road networks, water distribution and sewage collection systems, vehicles and equipment, parks, or municipal buildings and services. Municipalities manage their assets to ensure they reach their full service life and plan for their replacement. Local land use planning provides a road-map linking development with infrastructure and is essential to effectively manage these systems over both the short and long term.
Asset management is an integrated business approach involving planning, finance, engineering and operations to effectively manage existing and new infrastructure to maximize benefits, reduce risk and provide satisfactory levels of service to community users in a socially, environmentally and economically sustainable manner.
Asset management involves:
An asset management plan should:
Land use planning is the scientific, aesthetic and orderly use of land, resources, facilities and services to secure the physical, economic and social efficiency, health and well-being of communities. An OCP and zoning bylaw is the tool that provides authority for councils to legally enforce land use decisions.
An OCP is based on community values and assets. To effectively plan, a municipality must inventory its assets and establish what additional assets are needed to support new development. This information allows a municipality to direct and control development consistent with existing and planned infrastructure.
Asset management plans (AMP) should help determine planning policy to meet asset strategies. This can be done by determining the most cost effective locations to extend infrastructure and the level of service most appropriate and affordable for new development areas.
Many municipalities are undertaking new community plans in Saskatchewan and may be able to share their experiences.
Although asset management is a newer field of work in Canada, there is a growing body of knowledge from professional sectors and various governments.
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