If the city had to replace all infrastructure rated “poor” to “very poor” in Brantford’s first infrastructure report card, each household would have to cough up $7,650.
The report card, prepared by the public works commission and presented to committee of the whole this month, assessed 12 areas of municipal infrastructure, including roads, bridges, transit, water and waste facilities.
The city’s assets were counted and evaluated using a data analytics procedure that can be regularly repeated to monitor conditions and ensure assets such as sewer lines and water pipes are replaced in a timely and efficient manner, said director of facilities and asset management Geoff Linschoten.
Approximately nine per cent of Brantford’s infrastructure is at or nearing the end of its service life, led by vehicles from the corporate fleet, including those from the parks, water, golf and operations services.
The public works department takes the official shelf life of the city’s vehicles into account, but will only replace them once they are beyond repair, Linschoten said.
The city’s bridges and water distribution systems are also of concern, but to a lesser degree.
The report card findings put the city in line with the rest of Canada, according to a recent national infrastructure study conducted by the Federation of Canadian Municipalities, which found that 9.5 per cent of municipal infrastructure is in poor to very poor condition.
It will cost the city $287 million to replace its poor to very poor assets. The total asset replacement value is $3.17 billion.
Funding the backlog and maintaining the existing infrastructure level would require city council to set aside $46.6 million annually for the next 25 years of required upgrades. For upgrades required over the next 100 years, the city would have to set aside $64 million each year.
“We have to determine where we want to be in terms of service level to this city,” said Geoff Rae, general manager of engineering and operational services.
Linschoten said the infrastructure report card will form part of the city’s capital budget process to ensure dollars are spent on projects of greatest need. He advocated the “full corridor” approach to infrastructure replacement, whereby the city will replace multiple assets at one time to avoid tearing up the same street several times.