The launch of the Asset Management Program (AMP) component of the Canada-Ontario Municipal Rural Infrastructure Fund (COMRIF) was announced today.

In the COMRIF agreement signed November 15, 2004, both Canada and Ontario committed to invest up to a combined $5.96 million to assist eligible municipalities and Local Services Boards with asset management planning and capacity building through the “Asset Management Program (AMP)”.  Including a ⅓ municipal matching contribution up to almost $3 million, the total investment in this program will reach almost $9 million.

Although this funding cannot be expected to fully meet the needs of municipalities, the Asset Management Program funds will help eligible municipalities improve and increase their capacity to manage their infrastructure assets.  Communities can use this funding in a variety of ways: to enhance knowledge of their existing infrastructure assets; evaluate life-cycle costs associated with the infrastructure they own and operate; assess the capacity of current infrastructure and identify future needs; plan and make infrastructure financing decisions; and, train municipal staff in long-term infrastructure management.

The AMP uses an entitlement-based approach and a funding allocation formula which ensures that all municipalities eligible for COMRIF will receive a substantial share of the program funds.  The program design balances ease of access to the funding with appropriate accountability and reporting provisions.  AMO believes that the design of the AMP initiative demonstrates that important lessons have been learned through the implementation of the COMRIF program. 

The AMP expression of interest form and supporting documents such as the “AMP Guidebook” are now available on the COMRIF website at www.comrif.ca. The submission deadline is 5:00 p.m. EST on March 31, 2007. 

COMRIF is a partnership between the Government of Canada, the Government of Ontario, and AMO.  While AMO has worked in partnership with Canada and Ontario on the development, promotion and monitoring of the various components of the COMRIF program, including the AMP, AMO does not play any role in the assessment of project applications or the selection of projects for approval.

AMO will keep its members informed of the status on the AMP intake process. 

Additional information about COMRIF is available by visiting www.comrif.ca, or contacting the Joint Secretariat by e-mail at info@comrif.ca or by phone at 1-866-306-7827.