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Small BC community gets big benefits from asset management

The Village of Salmo's Sustainable Salmo Asset Management project is the 2018 winner in the asset management category of FCM's Sustainable Communities Awards.

Photo of the asset management project team in the Village of Salmo, BC.
Although the Village of Salmo, BC, is small, the municipality has adopted advanced asset management practices that make the community more sustainable and resilient. (Photo: Village of Salmo, BC)

How can an organization rebuild after having no financial statements, filing system or records for two years? The small Village of Salmo, BC, faced this challenge, compounded by having brand new staff in all levels of the organization. Their solution? Take the opportunity to start from scratch and implement best practices in sustainable asset management.  

Comprehensive plan improves resilience to extreme climate events

Today, the municipality's Sustainable Salmo Official Community Plan defines the community's vision and principles for asset management and sustainable service delivery, and guides council decision-making. Community engagement exercises took place during the development of the plan, which educated community members about the importance of asset management and allowed citizens to have a say in what mattered to them.

The plan addresses capital assets, such as roads, equipment, machinery, water and sewer systems, along with the community's valuable natural assets, such as wetlands and the aquifer. This enables the Village to manage and protect those systems to ensure that the capital and natural assets continue providing services to the community.


Being without records highlighted the true cost of failing to plan for infrastructure investments.

Residents can rely on sustainable services

The municipality's asset management assessments and inventory help them deliver reliable services to residents. The information also allows the Village to budget for and maintain their infrastructure, and prepare for potential failures. This is particularly critical for a small community with limited financial resources. Having a clear picture of their assets enables them to prioritize funding for asset maintenance, and apply for grants for upgrades or new services as required.

Asset management is embedded in municipality's operations

The municipality received grant funding to support their asset inventory and condition assessment and to train 70 per cent of staff in the National Asset Management Strategy. This has saved money over the long term and has helped embed asset management practices into day-to-day municipal operations at all levels. 

The community's award-winning organizational improvements have been recognized across the province, and Salmo is a pilot community for the national Communicating Asset Management Initiative.

Learn more about this project

Want to develop a similar project in your community? This spring, we'll publish a video of the project team's presentation at FCM's 2018 Sustainable Communities Conference, along with a guide.

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FCM's Sustainable Communities Awards recognize and celebrate sustainability leaders and trailblazers in municipalities of all sizes across Canada.

Page Updated: 01/02/2018