The City of Brandon now has a public-private partnership policy to apply to capital projects valued at under $20 million.
The policy has been in the works for nearly two years, and was presented to council Tuesday.
Patrick Pulak, the city’s director of engineering and water resources, provided a report on the policy, which touches on the city’s struggle to maintain and repair aging infrastructure, as well as expand infrastructure to support development growth.
“Much of the existing infrastructure assets in Brandon were built in the 1950s and ’70s, with an average life expectancy of 30 years,” Pulak states in his report. “Some sections of the underground infrastructure in the city have long passed their life expectancy and some have passed their halfway points.”
Public-private partnerships are one way the city may tackle the major infrastructure needs.
In Manitoba, all P3 projects valued at more than $20 million are governed by the Public-Private Partnerships Transparency and Accountability Act. As the act does not apply to projects valued at less than $20 million, it was determined a city policy was necessary, as many projects in Brandon are below that threshold.
In addition to framework and guidelines for P3s, the policy will also provide a transparent review process and a “high level of confidence to Brandon’s citizenry” that decisions made are fully informed and justifiable.
All councillors voted to adopt the policy, except Coun. Jan Chaboyer (Green Acres), who said the policy is confusing and unnecessary.
“I think the existing system is fine the way it is,” she said.
Chaboyer said she is also concerned that there isn’t a commitment to local suppliers, vendors and workers.
» Brandon Sun