Regina city council's executive committee has created a policy that will help manage the city's infrastructure, after hearing about the status of many of its assets.
A pair of interconnected motions were on the agenda for the committee's meeting Wednesday.
According to a report presented to executive committee, the city has assets with a total replacement value of $12.9 billion, as of Dec. 31, 2020.
That list includes thousands of kilometres of roads, 153 ball diamonds, 84 bridges, 158 transit and paratransit buses, seven fire stations and one landfill.
The multibillion-dollar total replacement value represents the cost of replacing an asset with a new asset of similar standard and function in present day value.
However, the total replacement value does not include the cost of day-to-day operations or the impacts on other resources in close proximity that may be disrupted if the original asset is replaced.
For example, the total replacement cost of a water pipe under a roadway does not include the cost of the resulting repairs for the road above the pipe.
The total replacement value is used by the City of Regina to understand the scale and magnitude of an asset's worth.
According to the report, 75 per cent of the city's assets are in very good to fair condition while 17 per cent are in poor to very poor condition, which means they are in need of action in the form of investment or repurposing.
The service areas with the assets in the worst condition include stormwater and wasterwater assets, according to the report.
The amount of assets that need to potentially be replaced or repurposed means that there will be a funding gap if the funding levels remain as planned, the report says.
It says that over the next 20 years, approximately $4.5 billion of funding is needed to replace assets, compared to projected funding of approximately $3.9 billion — a gap of approximately $655 million.
"This is not unique for Regina to have an infrastructure gap that it is an issue across the country," said Coun. Cheryl Stadnichuk of Ward 1.
"I think what is unique to Regina is that we had someone recommend building a city on gumbo. So that creates a lot of issues for our assets and the management of our assets
Asset management strategy
However, a second motion in front of the committee would see city staff create a policy that will oversee how the city manages its assets going forward.
The creation of the asset management strategy is necessary to "confirm [city council's] commitment to sound and prudent stewardship of the city's assets," according to the motion.
It would allow the city manager, the recently selected Niki Anderson, to create more programs that will help deal with its deteriorating assets.
Ward 9 Coun. Jason Mancinelli said the creation of the policy as well as the disclosure of the state of Regina's assets will benefit the city.
"[It will] clean up the balance sheet. Give a very good clear path to people so they can comprehend how things balance in a short order so they can start to participate more willingly," he said.
The infrastructure report was accepted and filed, while the asset management policy still needs to be approved at a meeting of city council.
Council could still decide to not create an asset management policy. However, the report warns that would mean a lack of an overarching policy to drive a consistent approach.
It would also create "a lack of clarity" around the expectations between city council and city administration, the report says.