London, Ontario, August 25, 2011. The Municipality of Central Elgin and the City of London awarded the P.J. Marshall Certificate of Merit.
The first Certificate of Merit is awarded Municipality of Central Elgin:

Every municipality has undertaken the implementation of the new Public Sector and Accounting Boards requirements for tangible capital asset reporting.  And the Award Jury expects there may be several other municipalities who decided to make this requirement an opportunity to marry PSAB with a comprehensive asset management and a financial management system.  That is what Central Elgin did – now PSAB accounting and asset information is linked to budget forecasting, accounts payable, work order management and a geographic information system. 

This predominantly rural municipality with about 13,000 residents, with over 10,000 assets worth about $163 million is no longer served by a number of different paper systems and stand alone software systems. 

Central Elgin council can now see how potential decisions can affect acceptable levels of service.  It allows them to make more informed decisions on where scarce funds for capital projects can have the greatest benefit in maintaining an optimal number of assets in adequate or better condition.   

It has also meant greater accuracy identifying infrastructure requirements by linking financial depreciation to engineering degradation and streamlining the budget creation and monthly budget reporting.   What is Central Elgin’s message?  That decision support solutions are within the reach of small and medium sized municipalities.   

The second Certificate of Merit is awarded to the City of London:

Busy railway crossings and large urban cities do not necessarily make a good mix. 

Hale Street/Trafalgar Street crossing is located on the busiest rail line in London – handling VIA passenger and CNR freight services.  The crossing separated two railway yards so trains and train shunting activities between the yards made for very long traffic delays – sometimes upwards of 40 minutes.   And we know who much the travelling public likes to wait!

So traffic would take diversions through local streets or unfortunately disregarding warning devices.  Public and rail safety became a growing concern and a solution was needed. 

Rising costs for a grade separation with a standard, signalized intersection over the railway triggered a value engineering review which found an elevated roundabout would greatly simplify the traffic operations, improve traffic safety and create a savings of about $2 million. 

The result?  Improved efficiencies for both the City and CN.  Improved traffic flow, zero delays due to trains; grade separation has provided CN with land to improve their operations and in a safer manner. It is an idea that will likely see some transference elsewhere in the city in the future.