Assets are things of value to the City. Asset management is how the City makes sure it has effective physical assets that are safe, well maintained, meet regulatory requirements and are fit for purpose.
What are some examples of physical assets?
- Public buildings like recreation centres and City Hall
- Equipment like loader tractors, bobcats or snow plows
- Public infrastructure like sewer pipes or transit
- Office and IT equipment like laptops, PCs and printers
Asset management is a complex business, carrying out a mixture of planned and unplanned work and managing the assets we already own and planning for the new ones.
Think about all the assets you come in to contact with in the City. Each asset has to be logged, tracked, properly maintained and repaired as needed. This work carries a lot of risk and things have to work and be safe. The logistics of planning and carrying out this work is complex, and ensuring that sufficient budget is available to fund the work is critical. Just treading water by maintaining the existing infrastructure is a significant challenge even without factoring all the things that go wrong when things get old. You may have heard the phrase “aging infrastructure” and this is what the City is facing.
The City also has to be agile enough to respond to unexpected needs and emergencies, ensuring that there are funds available when it matters most.
To add further complexity, the City constantly has to plan for the future and the expanding needs of the community. Often there is a gap between the things that need to happen and the money available and this is called “the infrastructure gap”.
This hive of activity requires many different parties to work together. It requires the City and other layers of government to work in concert. More often, others in the community such as the not-for-profit sector and business leaders are being invited to work with the City to find ways of ensuring that Guelph has the assets and amenities it needs to be the best it can with limited resources.
How are we going to successfully bridge the infrastructure gap? Do we have the systems and processes in place to manage our asset complexity?