Council has continued commitment to Asset Management through its Strategic Plan and by providing resources to Administration Staff to develop and maintain a comprehensive Asset Management System.

Asset management is the process of making decisions about the use and care of infrastructure to deliver services in a way that considers current and future needs, manages risk and opportunities, and makes the best use of resources. The infrastructure in our communities is the legacy of a multi-generational investment, made by local, provincial, and federal governments. Increasingly, we are recognizing the value of the investment that has been made in our community infrastructure, and the risks we face by not managing for the long term. 

Residents and businesses in our community trust and expect government to be good stewards of the services and infrastructure that they rely on every day. Building resilient communities, with sustainable services, is the ultimate goal of asset management.

Benefits of Asset Management

  • Helps to confidently evaluate and communicate trade-offs between service, cost, and risk.
  • Provides a defensible method of prioritizing projects and resources.
  • Aligns the organization to focus on the things that matter most.
  • Helps to decide what infrastructure needs to be replaced or renewed and what the expected useful life is.
  • Helps establish how much revenue should be placed in reserve for future infrastructure renewal.
  • Helps demonstrate accountability to residents and businesses in the community. 

Key Terms

  • Level of Service is a measure of the quality, quantity, and/or reliability of a service from the perspective of residents, businesses, and customers in the community.
    • How wide should the roads be? How short should the grass be? How often should potable water be available? Which roads should be paved/graveled? How quickly should snow be cleared? Is a bridge required? Response times and adequacy of emergency services?
  • Risk(s) are events or occurrences that will have undesired impacts on services. Risk = Impact x Likelihood.
  • Costs are the financial and human resources required through the lifecycle of the asset.
  • Funding is determining how to pay for the services delivered.
    • Property taxes, Debt, Exchange of assets, User fees and charges, Development charges, Grants, other…


Below is an example of different levels of Service.

Evaluating Trade–offs and Making Good Decisions

Service, risk, and cost cannot be fully understood in isolation.

Service and Risk Trade-offs

  • Accepting greater risk may result in assets not preforming as intended. An example is a water main that is allowed to deteriorate, resulting in more breaks, and a lower service level to the community.

Service and Cost Trade-offs

  • What level of service can we afford to provide, now and into the future? Naturally, we all want the best, until we understand the associated costs.

Risk and Cost Trade-offs

  • Actions required to mitigate asset risks have costs, and decisions need to be made about whether the costs are worth it or whether the risk should be tolerated.


Information sourced from Building Community Resilience Through Asset Management – A Handbook and Toolkit for Alberta Municipalities.