Walden Helps Municipalities Develop Staffing and Retention Plans for NYS Asset Management Program

by | Apr 23, 2024

NYS Asset Management Program for Publicly Owned Utility Systems

Walden recently started work on an Asset Management Plan (AMP) for the Town of Ulster, NY. To learn more about what an AMP is, and how Walden is working with the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) and the New York State Environmental Facilities Corporation (NYSEFC) to further develop AMP programs in New York, see Walden’s blog from October 2022 on the topic. We have described the asset inventory and condition assessment and the Level of Service portions of an AMP in previous blogs. Today we will take a step back and look at the initial steps in the process of assisting our newest community.


Step 1: Determining Your Asset Management IQ

As the first step in the asset management program, Walden met with representatives from the Town of Ulster to assess the municipality’s readiness and experience with asset management concepts. The AMP process uses an initial test that was originally developed by the Kansas Department of Health and Environment, following the United States Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Five Core Questions Framework for Municipal Asset Management.

A municipality’s Asset Management IQ is assessed by a series of six questionnaires, which rank the asset management team’s understanding of asset management on a five-point scale. The answers should be determined based on consensus from the primary members of the municipality’s asset management team. The six categories cover the following topics:

  • Section 1 – General Asset Management
  • Section 2 – Current State of the Assets
  • Section 3 – Level of Service
  • Section 4 – Assets Critical to Sustained Performance
  • Section 5 – Lifecycle Cost
  • Section 6 – Financing

Each section has a total of five questions and a total score of 150 points would represent best practices in all areas of asset management. By undergoing this process, the team will become aware of the steps that must be taken to develop a successful AMP.


Step 2: Developing the Asset Management Team, Staffing, and Succession Summary

Once the team’s Asset Management IQ has been determined and the team has been introduced to the scope of the asset management program, the team must then pull together documentation to complete the asset management team, staffing, and succession summary.

The first goal is to define the roles and responsibilities of each member of the asset management team. It may be necessary to draw in additional members of the municipality to cover all areas of knowledge required for the program.

The second goal is to put together a comprehensive staffing plan. Staff necessary for the operations and maintenance of the Publicly Owned Treatment Works (POTW) are identified, as well as members of the municipality who support the POTW, such as the municipal clerk. Items critical to developing a retention plan are identified for each staff member, including the requirements of the title, certifications and continuing education hours, retirement eligibility date and retirement vulnerability, and whether or not a knowledge retention and succession plan is in place. An organizational chart, which shows the linkage between the different members of the staffing plan, is also developed.

The third goal in the process is to develop a mission and vision statement for the POTW. The asset management team uses a series of questions to develop the mission and vision statement. The mission statement represents the purpose, focus, and direction of the organization, with an eye on the relationship between the municipality and the community. The vision statement is the action plan that will be used to follow through with the mission statement. Walden is currently assisting the Ulster AMP team with the development of their mission and vision statements.


How Walden Can Help

The key to a properly developed AMP is to have engaged and knowledgeable individuals construct a comprehensive plan, which can be communicated to and understood by all, with specific personnel assigned specific duties and responsibilities. The AMP is a living document, which should be reviewed and updated regularly.

The experienced team of AMP professionals at Walden can help develop and maintain an asset management program specifically tailored to your needs. To read about some of Walden’s related work involving asset management tasks, please visit our utility valuation and asset management planning page. For more information about asset management programs or related tasks, contact Walden at 516-758-1273 to connect with an experienced AMP specialist today.

asset management, publicly owned treatment works, asset management program, asset management plan, New York State, wastewater treatment plant

Learn more about Walden’s asset management planning services here, and contact us at 516-758-1273 to speak with an AMP specialist on staff.