Engaging the Community to Set Realistic Expectations
Consulting the public regarding levels of service is an opportunity to engage the community’s feedback on how to balance service levels with risk, and cost. O. Reg. 588/17 requires municipalities to complete public consultation as part of the process to determine proposed or target levels of service. Discussion points could include:
- Breakdown of funding, e.g. Where Your Tax Dollar Goes (Peel Region).
- The cost of inaction and Return on Investment, e.g. quantify potential damages through actual infrastructure failure events or use of a Risk and Return on Investment Tool (RROIT) (Credit Valley Conservation Authority).
- What service is needed vs. what asset is required, e.g. reducing leakage in water system rather than building a larger water treatment plant.
- Options to fund a particular service at the required service levels. The City of Mississauga, for example, has a dedicated stormwater fee to keep its stormwater infrastructure system in good condition that was once underfunded under property taxes and development charges due to other competing priorities.
- The Municipality of Central Elgin, for example, has developed an asset management plan for its core assets that meet the requirements of the provincial regulation. This plan is informed by a level of service survey that was published on the municipality’s community engagement website.
Did you know?
It is common for smaller municipalities that lack financial and staff resources to share assets, services, staff resources and asset management software. The Municipality of Wawa hired an asset management coordinator as a shared staff resource with three other small municipalities in Algoma district: the Township of Hornepayne, the Township of White River and the Township of Dubreuilville. This partnership with other small municipalities helped Council advance asset management programs, despite having limited financial resources and technical expertise.