Procedures to Identify Existing Capital Assets and Infrastructure

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There are numerous ways for management to identify county-owned assets and infrastructure: county department inventories, county commission minutes, the current county road list, building and content insurance records, TDOT bridge inspection reports, and data from the county’s register of deeds and tax assessor.  Infrastructure is defined as long-lived capital assets that normally can be preserved for a significantly greater number of years than most capital assets. Infrastructure assets are normally stationary in nature: bridges, roads, dams, etc. Generally, county-owned buildings are considered capital assets, not infrastructure assets. See Infrastructure for more information.

Blue County is a small county with only a few schools and county-owned buildings. Per Blue’s capital asset policy, building improvements have a useful life of 20 years. The county’s capital asset manager spends a couple days scanning the county commission and school board minutes for the past 20 years, noting any building improvements (new roofs, additions, HVAC replacements, etc.) that exceed the capitalization thresholds. After verifying through an inventory that these improvements still exist (HVAC units, etc.), these items are then capitalized as building improvements and the minutes, if original invoices and warrants cannot be found, are copied and maintained as supporting documentation for each improvement’s cost. By utilizing these procedures, management helps ensure that major capital assets are identified and recorded properly.