The Village of Merrickville-Wolford will be applying for a grant to help cover the cost of creating an Asset Management Plan [AMP] for the municipality. According to the Government of Ontario website, there are many places in Ontario where infrastructure is degrading faster than it is being repaired or replaced. To address this, the Province implemented the Asset Management Planning for Municipal Infrastructure Regulation, on January 1, 2018, with the goal of helping municipalities improve the way they plan for their infrastructure. To guide municipalities in the implementation of this regulation, the Province has provided them with a step by step process, which guides them towards the creation of an approved AMP by July 1, 2024.
As of July 1, 2019, all municipalities in Ontario had to have a finalized strategic asset management policy in place which outlined how they are going to go about creating their AMP. This included things like who would be the lead on creating the policy, council involvement, budgeting, public consultation, environmental considerations, and alignment with municipal goals, policies and plans which may be supported by the creation of an AMP.
The next phase in the process is to have an approved AMP in place for core assets (roads, bridges and culverts, water, wastewater, and stormwater management systems) that identifies current levels of service, and costs for maintaining those levels of service, by July 1, 2021. The Village is planning on hiring a consultant to help with the development of the AMP, and will be applying for a grant from the Federation of Canadian Municipalities’ Municipal Asset Management Program, to help fund the position. They have also committed $12,500 from the budget to help pay for the initiative. “Thank you to staff for seeing the grant opportunity to offset dollars that we would otherwise have to spend,” Mayor Doug Struthers said at the council meeting of July 27.