A $25,000 federal grant is helping Warfield council use a forward-thinking approach to village assets like pipes, roads, and municipal buildings.
Mayor Diane Langman says the federal dollars add to a previous grant that launched the process of asset management planning.
In simple terms, the village is documenting infrastructure. So, instead of waiting until an old main breaks or a road washes out, the mindset will be on fixes or replacements ahead of time and not emergency repairs.
“We have a lot of old infrastructure,” Langman told the Trail Times. “The hard part is that (historically) Warfield has been very reactive, when things happen, we react to it and fix it,” she added.
“We are trying to switch that mentality to taking a proactive approach, and being able to say, ‘This is our worst area, or it’s a safety issue, let’s put it at the top our our priority list.’”
The village started at bare bones earlier this year, beginning with actual identification of groundworks, such as water and sewer systems.
“We are looking at the age of our infrastructure, material it is made of, condition and approximate replacement date,” Langman explained. “This will help us prioritize our infrastructure upgrades and begin to take a more proactive approach.”
Water shutoff locations were a focus because not all sites were known.
“In our municipality, we have identified 80 per cent of them and are moving towards digital mapping,” Langman noted.
“Previously, Warfield was still running on paper maps.”
Council tapped into a well-informed source for help with the process – longtime public works employees.
“Our works crew have worked in Warfield for many years and hold a great amount of knowledge,” said Langman. “So we are taking a proactive approach and starting to document these things now and digitize while we are in this process.”
The Municipal Asset Management Program is a new five-year, $50-million program designed to help municipalities make informed decisions about infrastructure investment. The program is delivered by the Federation of Canadian Municipalities and funded by the Government of Canada.