City Council members were briefed today on the Alberta Municipal Benchmarking Initiative report on Roadway Services, the fifth of seven core service area reports expected to be issued from extensive data gathered under the initiative.
The cost of municipal roadway services in Lethbridge is the lowest among the six participating communities in Alberta while the condition of local roads is near the top, the report indicates. The benchmarking information sets the stage for each municipality to identify trends, establish priorities, and make positive changes in the delivery of roadway services to their residents.
The Roadways Report indicates that Lethbridge had the lowest roadway system cost - $9,963 per lane kilometre in 2014 –among the six municipalities that participated in this area of study. The roadway system cost in other participating communities ranged from $10,853 to $23,894. Lethbridge also had the lowest per-capita cost for its total transportation system. Meanwhile, the report indicates that Lethbridge had the second-best roadway conditions among participating communities, with only six per cent of local roads deemed in poor condition.
"The ability to share and compare operational practices and performance among our communities can only lead to improved decision making, more efficient service and a higher quality of life for our residents," said Mayor Chris Spearman.
The benchmarking program is supported by the provincial Ministry of Municipal Affairs' Regional Collaboration Program. Other communities that participated in the roadways study included Banff, Canmore, Medicine Hat, Okotoks and Red Deer.
"This report is a measurement tool that can raise the standard for delivery of municipal services in Alberta. It will be a catalyst for municipalities to develop and refine best practices that can be used province wide," said Director of Corporate Services Corey Wight, the City's representative on the initiative's governance committee.
Although each community in Alberta is unique and faces local factors that impact service delivery such as population growth, commercial/residential mix and geography, benchmarking in general helps elected officials, administration and residents understand how their municipality is performing over time.
The next steps are for each participating municipality to review results with managers and employees who are experts in the measurement areas. Previous benchmarking reports released to date have examined drinking water, fire services, and solid waste and wastewater services. Other service areas to be examined include snow and ice control as well as transit services.
The full Roadway Services Report and the accompanying City Council presentation and previous reports are available at: www.lethbridge.ca/benchmarking.
Joel Sanchez, Waste & Recycling Services General Manager
City of Lethbridge