HUNTSVILLE – The Town of Huntsville could snag some funding from senior levels of government to help it plan for long-term capital asset replacement.
John Finley, economic development and grants officer, recommended earlier this month at a corporate service committee meeting that the town submit an application for a $20,000 grant from senior levels of government to help offset the cost of creating mandatory capital asset management plans.
“The province of Ontario has introduced a municipal infrastructure funding program, but it has a provision attached to it that the municipalities that want to take part in this program have to complete an asset management plan – a replacement plan for all the assets that a municipality has such as bridges, buildings,” Finley told the Huntsville Forester.
The plans are already required under new accounting legislation, but the provision for the funding program offers additional incentives, he said.
Finely called the asset management plans a good tool for municipalities.
“Everybody should have a plan to replace their car, but it doesn’t happen all the time. You just wait until it breaks. And a lot of municipalities do that, too, so these plans force you to look at things in a whole new way as far as replacement of very expensive items is concerned,” he said.
Finley said the application for the $20,000 grant is due in October. The funds would be used to hire a consultant with expertise in developing such plans.
The town, he said, cannot get to the funding pot for the infrastructure funding program without completing the plans.
As for what projects the municipality would submit funding applications for when it completes its asset management plans and becomes eligible for the new funding program, Finely said no decisions had been made.
“Until we develop the asset management plan, which will identify which projects the town should be looking at, I can’t say what council will be looking at,” he said.
Committee was supportive of applying for the grant and forwarded its recommendation to do so to council. Council met on Sept. 18 as this paper was going to press.