Infrastructure assessment key to region’s future

The first phase of the assessment to determine the state of infrastructure in the nine Flagstaff Intermunicipal Partnership (FIP) member communities is nearly 85 per cent complete.  Launched this past August, the information gathered is critical to help FIP make informed decisions about the regions’ future.
“This assessment is an extremely important piece of the Flagstaff Regional Governance Initiative,” said Bob Coutts, Deputy Mayor of Forestburg and FIP Chair.  “It will give us a vital understanding of the infrastructure’s condition and needs for each community as we explore new models of regional collaboration.”
Since August, Edmonton-based Urban Systems (www.urbansystems.ca) has been working with FIP administrators to assess the state of a wide range of municipal infrastructure, including:
• Transportation (roads, sidewalks and trails)
• Utilities (water, wastewater, stormwater and gas)
• Parks and Municipal Facilities (buildings and contents)
“This is a very large undertaking, and municipal administrators from the region have been working diligently to provide us with the information we need – they understand its importance and its role in their informed decision making,” said Golnaz Azimi, Urban Systems Community Infrastructure Consultant and Project Lead.
“FIP should be commended. Having nine communities do this kind of detailed assessment as one region isn’t very common, and the findings have the potential to benefit the region for decades.”
The FIP member communities will have a comprehensive overview of the infrastructure they own and their replacement costs by March 2017, at which time it will be presented to FIP and made available to the public.
The cost of the project is $350 thousand and was funded by the provincial government. The majority of the costs were dedicated to the large amount of time required to gather and analyze the information for all nine communities, with a smaller portion going towards project management.
The Flagstaff Regional Governance Initiative is exploring new ideas and ways for collaboration between FIP communities.  Using input from citizens and community leaders, its goal is to develop a new vision for the region to help it become more successful over the long-term. It is expected to be complete in December 2017.
The Flagstaff Intermunicipal Partnership is a committee made up of representatives from all municipalities within the Flagstaff Region: Towns of Daysland, Hardisty, Killam and Sedgewick, the Villages of Alliance, Forestburg, Heisler and Lougheed and Flagstaff County.

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