08/21/2012

Ottawa, Ontario, August 21, 2012 – The City of Cambridge earned an AMO Gas Tax Capacity Building Award for an innovative public private partnership that enhances municipal asset management.
The Honourable Steven Fletcher, Minister of State for Transport and Gary McNamara, AMO President presented the award to Cambridge Mayor Doug Craig on stage at the Association’s annual conference in Ottawa on Monday, August 20, 2012.

“We are honoured to receive this recognition. Canada’s Gas Tax Fund is an important source of support for infrastructure as municipalities face challenges to close the funding gap and address the needs of growing communities,” said Mayor Doug Craig. “We continue to find ways to work smarter, leverage partnerships and build community vitality.”

A first of its kind system, Cambridge, in collaboration with IBM, is developing the Planning Analytics for Asset Life-Cycle Management (PALM) system to bring together and better understand information from multiple departments. Combining this information, and making it accessible to employees in the field through mobile devices, will help maximize the life cycle of the City’s infrastructure. For example, the City can gather growth management, infrastructure condition and utility data from PALM to coordinate infrastructure renewal in common shared locations. 

“Municipal leaders who run complex networks while relying on aging infrastructure are on a constant search for more efficient ways to analyze data, anticipate problems and coordinate resources in their cities,” says John Longbottom, IBM Smarter Cities Leader. “The AMO Gas Tax Capacity Building Award recognizes Cambridge’s leadership in this regard, and demonstrates the important role technology can play in addressing these challenges.”

The AMO Gas Tax Capacity Building Award celebrates the investment of Canada’s Gas Tax Fund in projects that achieve excellence in long-term sustainability planning. Winning projects have wide ranging benefits to the community and address a local need.  

Cambridge invested $150,000 from Canada’s Gas Tax Fund into the innovative project. It’s expected that the PALM system will save the City $100,000 per year in staff time spent on capital plan forecasting. In addition, Cambridge expects to save on costs related to project coordination and enjoy the benefits of long-term, sustainable asset management.

“Cambridge’s PALM system demonstrates an exceptionally innovative use of Canada’s Gas Tax Fund that will provide long-term benefits to both the community and municipalities across the province,” said Gary McNamara, AMO President. “Investing in asset management is a crucial first step in tackling the $60 billion infrastructure gap found in Ontario’s municipalities, and Canada’s Gas Tax Fund has the flexibility to make this happen” 

Canada’s Gas Tax Fund is the only permanent, predictable, long-term source of municipal infrastructure funding. Ontario municipalities receive $746 million per year for investment in six categories of infrastructure or planning projects that contribute to long-term sustainability. Three municipalities received an AMO Gas Tax Award in 2012 including the City of Mississauga for its investment in a fully accessible fleet of transit vehicles, and the Municipality of Wawa for its investment in rooftop solar panels. 

AMO is a non-profit organization representing almost all of Ontario’s 444 municipal governments. AMO supports strong and effective municipal government in Ontario and promotes the value of municipal government as a vital and essential component of Ontario and Canada’s political system.

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