Yorkton Council approved a tender which will lead to a Saskatoon firm helping create engineering standards for the city.
“Engineering standards are an integral part of infrastructure management and play an important part of the sustainability of a community. As the fields of infrastructure asset management and total lifecycle management have been adopted by municipalities, the need for standards for infrastructure became apparent,” said City Engineer Josh Mickleborough.
Mickleborough said other communities have created such standards so for Yorkton it becomes a question of when to take the step.
“Indeed the lessons learned from other communities have proven that municipalities with standards are better equipped to handle growth,” he said.
Mickleborough said for Yorkton the time seems to be now.
“In short, the timing is right for the adoption of engineering standards. Yorkton is experiencing growth and more is anticipated. Having a set of standards actually makes the job of developers, builders and businesses easier; they have a known target,” he said.
“At the same time it addresses the ongoing viability of our infrastructure and ensures that all of the city has access to critical infrastructure and associated services.”
Mickleborough said such standards do have a cost, but that it is outweighed by the benefits.
“Standards can increase initial capital costs … but, it has been proven that the reduction in ongoing maintenance costs more than offsets this initial expenditure,” he said.
Earlier this year several firms expressed interest and two submitted proposals, said Mickleborough, adding that McElhenney, a group from Saskatoon, was deemed the best consultant for the job.
Councillor Ross Fisher said he liked the direction of creating engineering standards.
“I think this is a very good and positive step for the city,” he said.
It was an opinion echoed by Coun. Larry Pearen who noted “it does set the minimum standards,” adding it is “proactive.”