A participant asked how the state revolving fund conditions for facility sustainability plans could be developed to receive SRF funding and help drive asset management. Heather shared her thoughts.
I am certainly an advocate that I hope, the facility, the financial sustainability plans are a huge driver for asset management. I personally see them as sort of a subset of an overall asset management program.
I think they’re an excellent driver that if you’re looking for funding, it makes perfect sense to me and I think that Ross would agree to say that funders want to believe that if they’re giving you money to build something or repair something or replace something, then you’re going to take good care of their money.
That you’re going to put in a new pipe, new tank, new wells, whatever it might be, and after that, you’re going to take very good care of the equipment that you have.
So they have a big reason to want you to do an asset management program because they want to believe that you’ll be good stewards of the money that you’re receiving.
So the financial sustainability planning process that’s building to the Clean Water Act State Revolving Fund is really, a few components of an overall asset management program.
And one would hope that anybody who goes down that path to do financial sustainability plan, well then choose to go all the way and do a full asset management program, incorporating all the elements of the financial sustainability plan.
So the financial sustainability plan talks about things like your critical assets. But you want to go beyond just your critical assets because what’s critical today is not the same as what’s critical tomorrow.
So if we’re not looking out ahead, you know, 10, 20, 30 years, something that isn’t critical today very well may be, without our attention being paid to it, a critical asset for in 20 years, 30 years.
So we want to go with the FSPs, the Financial Sustainability Plan for the perfect starting point and then move that into a full-blown asset management program, where we’re trying to make changes within our water, wastewater utilities.
And then on the waterside, there are some SRF (state revolving fund) programs that are giving in some tip points for doing asset management. So you might get more points on your application.
For example, Kansas is doing that, where you get more points on the SRF application if you do asset management. And again, that’s probably going to increase over time.
There will be more state revolving funds that would want to see infrastructure asset management programs and I say use any driver you can find.
And if the FSP requirement is a driver for your community in a way to get your boards or your governing bodies or your managers on board to get you started on that program, use that driver all you can and use that as a way to get started in a program.
PHOTO CREDIT: June Marie via Flickr Creative Commons License.