Expenses getting tight in Cache Creek

Cache Creek councillors balk at having to spend money on new asset management planning.

Cache Creek Council is pinching their pennies this year and preparing this year’s budget isn’t the calm process it has appeared to be before last year’s flood.

Municpalities are being encouraged to develop asset management plans to assist them in “delivering sustainable services by extending and deepening asset management practices within their organizations.”

It’s meant to assist local governments in managing their capital assets better.

The Village received a $10,000 provincial grant for staff to train in the National Asset Management Strategy. A matching $10,000 from the Village was required.

Coun. Wyatt McMurray asked if it was necessary for them to develop an asset management plan.

“It will be,” said Chief Financial Officer Sheila McCutcheon. She added that it would take time to put an asset management in place so it was preferable to start now rather than later. They would also be restricted in what infrastructure grants they could access until they had their plan.

She said Cache Creek staff hoped to host the NAMS course and hopefully recover some of the costs back through registrations by other municipalities attending the course.

She said the $10,000 from the Village could also be in kind work.

Staff also presented an application for three infrastructure planning grants to start the process.

“We know it’s coming,” said CAO Melany de Weerdt. “If we can access some funding it will forward this in a more efficient manner.”

Coun. McMurray suggested forward the application to a budget workshop.

“We just spent $10,000,” he said. “This is another $22,000. We already can’t balance the budget.”

“It’s highly unlikely we’ll get all three grants approved this time around,” said McCutcheon. “It could be a year before we access them all.”

“The money had got to come from some place,” he said. “I’m fine with applying for the grants,” he relented. “We can decide whether to use them once we’re approved.”

“What we need is an Operating Certificate for the Landfill so we can market an opportunity while it still exists,” said Mayor John Ranta.

Ashcroft Cache Creek Journal