After receiving three verbal submissions from public, and a failed motion to postpone third reading to the first meeting in March, council gave second and third reading to Borrowing Bylaw 355 – 535-547 Deer Street and 145-155 Cave Avenue Lands. The bylaw enables the Town to borrow $965,001 to acquire the lands agreed to be released by Parks Canada, demolish the existing uninhabitable structures, and undertake community consultation and engineering analysis for the future development of below-market rental housing. The Town intends to repay the principal, the financing costs and operating costs from the revenues received through rent so that the development is not funded by property taxes. It was clarified that the housing levy on the property tax invoice funds the housing sustainability coordinator position at the Town and is from $5 to $8 per year for the median residential property taxpayer.
Council gave three readings to Bylaw 356 – Fee Amendments. Bylaws associated with the 2016 fee amendments approved at an earlier meeting required updates to their schedules. Council also approved amendments to the Non Proclamation Policy C22, which stipulates the Town will not issue proclamations to declare special days or months in the Town of Banff. And they approved the amalgamation of two approved capital projects for breath apparatus for the fire department.
Council approve an allocation of $382,000 from the Environmental Reserve to buy an energy efficient blower and diffuser for the wastewater treatment plant. The WWTP is the Town’s largest single source of energy consumption and 34% of the electricity consumption at the WWTP is due to the existing blowers, which are near the end of their lifespan. The new hybrid/turbo blower, which operates continuously to aerate the bioreactor, will reduce overall energy consumption at the WWTP by 15%, reducing annual operating costs by $30,000.
Finally, council authorized staff to proceed with the creation of new office space at 101 Bear Street for $65,000, funded from general capital reserves. The upper level of the facility is currently undergoing repairs and upgrades and by closing a skylight shaft from the second level to the ground level (library), the town can inexpensively add useable square footage to the facility while improving the heating efficiencies for the library.
The next council meeting is February 22 at 2 p.m. in the council chamber.