2016 Asset Management Report for the District of Oak Bay
Opus International Consultants (Canada) Ltd.
Completed in 2016 but not released to the public until 2017, this is perhaps the most serious looming priority we have seen for Oak Bay in recent years. Public assets are defined as sewer, water, storm drains, roads (incl. sidewalks, curbs and trails), buildings, street furniture (benches, street lights and signs), parks and recreation (facilities, trees, sports fields and parks) and the fleet (vehicles).
The approximately $283M debt for deferred maintenance on Oak Bay’s infrastructure is a serious challenge and risk to our future sustainability. The combination of insufficient financial reserves, low tax increases, staffing gaps, short term mitigations and lack of any long term assets’ management strategy and plan that should look 20 years out, leaves Oak Bay and its taxpayers in a very tough position.
The OPUS Report on the state of Oak Bay’s public assets, is an alarming wake up call for all of us.
It’s my understanding that with a new qualified Director of Engineering, staff are now focused on putting together a strategy and plan, spelled out by OPUS. But to implement it, financial and human resources must be identified and immediately dedicated. I have read the OPUS Report from cover to cover, to better understand the situation and it is nothing short of urgent.
I urge residents to do the same by accessing the report on the municipal website which can be found here: https://bit.ly/2CR9c6y
The bottom line is that we must carefully examine the budget process to make necessary changes so that adequate funds are allocated to infrastructure reserves. This will require staff and Council working closely together, with the community, on budget planning and management. I will certainly advocate strongly for such an approach.