ArcNorth News

ArcNorth News - Spring 2018

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8 | SPRING 2018 ArcNorthNews Roads and highways connect communities, and are akin to arteries vital for survival. These are the busiest and most used assets, especially in rural areas and smaller towns that lack marine or aerial transportation options for travel and logistics. In Canada, over the past few decades, the burden of infrastructure ownership and maintenance has been moving from senior levels of government to municipal levels, which not only calls for easy and abundant availability of advanced technology and workforce but also finance. Municipalities require funds to manage physical infrastructure in their region: buildings, parks, roads, highways, curbs, sidewalks, streetlights, poles and more. These funds are mostly sourced through federal or provincial funding such as the Municipal Asset Management Program (MAMP), or taxes from residents, businesses and property owners. In other words, our physical infrastructure directly impacts our taxes. Faced with $76.8 million general infrastructure deficit in 2015, the City of Penticton – located in the beautiful Okanagan Valley in central-southern British Columbia – was looking for ways to deal with the increasing deficit. With a population of approximately 33,761 residents, the City manages 184 kilometres of roads and 143 kilometres of walkways and sidewalks, among other infrastructure assets. When the municipality completed its asset management audit in 2016, it realized that the aging infrastructure required more attention– the population wasn't growing as much as the cost of maintaining infrastructure had been. In the long run, it could start impacting municipal taxes if they didn't consider adopting a foundation for strategic asset management. Physical infrastructure is defined by its geographical location and a mix of qualitative and quantitative data, and geographic information systems (GIS) can play a vital role in managing spatial data and producing insights that become the foundation of effective asset management. After all, effective asset management requires, first– a complete georeferenced inventory of assets to facilitate easy understanding of the ground reality; next – field data collection and inspections, followed by using automated condition assessment technologies and data management tools to prioritize Maintenance and Rehabilitation (M&R) requirements; and most importantly, a sound infrastructure management system. The City bought its first enterprise GIS system – Esri's ArcGIS Enterprise, and hired its first GIS analyst in 2012. It began with desktop analysis for smaller, ad hoc mapping requests. In 2015, the City's new Electrical Utility Manager championed their department's transition from CAD data and paper-based processes to a consolidated, centralized SDE database in the City's ArcGIS Enterprise system. Using Schneider Electric's ArcFM solution with the assistance of HARTerra Spatial Solutions, the results were impressive. "The ROI from consolidating data and building processes into ArcGIS to manage the electrical assets with the Esri tools was seen very quickly," recalls Dave Polvere, IT manager for the City of Penticton. "The momentum built up from the successful electrical project aligned with Penticton's asset management planning, which quickly led to the migration of the City's water, storm water and sanitary sewer data into the enterprise geodatabase. Roads data was next on the list." To facilitate the maintenance and management of data, the GIS team used Esri's Local Government Information Model. ArcGIS for Local Government includes several related maps and apps that can be configured for any organization. Since it is supported by ArcGIS for Local Enabling Effective Asset Management of Roads and Highways Did you know that Canada's municipal infrastructure deficit currently stands at $123 billion and is growing annually by $2 billion? Infrastructure deficit or infrastructure gap is the difference between the cost of renewing existing infrastructure assets and the current expenditure on those assets. Efficient asset management can help reduce annual deficit, enhance the infrastructure's life and contribute to lowering taxes. Find out how the City of Penticton optimizes asset management using GIS.

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