ACEC-SK Regionalization Presentation at 2018 SUMA Convention a Hit

ACEC-SK had the opportunity to present for the very first time at SUMA’s 2018 Convention in Regina.  Municipal infrastructure in this province is facing significant challenges. In their presentation consulting engineers demonstrated that because they are not only technical experts, but business experts, their experience can point the way to a solution to build municipal infrastructure in this province more efficiently. Its suggestion is that municipalities should consider regionalization as a very real option where appropriate. 

Part of what consulting engineers do is bring in knowledgeable partners to assist with developing solutions.  ACEC-SK reached out to the Ministry of Government Relations and Water Security Agency to discuss ways to address the funding and regulatory challenges currently facing municipalities wishing to address their infrastructure deficits. 

Ryan King of AECOM summarized his very successful regionalization project – Sask Landing – sharing this success story with a very interested audience.  He outlined why and how the project began, the many steps undertaken prior to the project starting, and the multiple moving parts that were coordinated and delivered by his consulting engineering company.  He showed that cooperation in a region resulted in the success of one of the largest regionalization projects in this province to-date.

Sean Bayer of KGS reviewed the historical contributing factors as to why municipal infrastructure is facing significant challenges today.  Limited financial support available through current funding models is insufficient to address the provincial municipal infrastructure deficit in the context of significant looming regulatory deadlines. 

Keith Comstock of the Ministry of Government Relations reviewed the current funding programs and the amount of dollars remaining, which the audience clearly understood was insufficient to address current demand.  The question was asked – is this type of funding sustainable? Ryan Evans of the Water Security Agency (WSA) reinforced that with the need to build more complex infrastructure to meet the stringent regulatory requirements, WSA is also encouraging municipalities to consider regional infrastructure as a viable option.  Through pooling resources, municipalities can also ensure increased infrastructure operation and maintenance requirements can be met.

A more efficient way of delivering municipal infrastructure is necessary. ACEC-SK recommends exploring a regionalization approach where appropriate to address this very pressing need.
March 1, 2018

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