The Banff Greenhouse Gardening Society presented to council as a delegation, discussing the success of the organization and their plans for the future. The two greenhouses in the community have been so popular the society had to decline 44 applications for gardening plots this year. There are 34 plots in the greenhouse at the recreation grounds and 20 plots, plus five outdoor beds, at the greenhouse on Cascade Plaza. Board member Bob Lutz said they plan to build a third greenhouse and will be approaching council during the 2017 budget discussions to request some funding. Plans for another community greenhouse are included in the recreation grounds redevelopment plan.
The Commonwealth Walkway Banff Steering Committee chair Bill Fisher spoke to council as a delegation, giving an update on the plans to designate three to five existing trails in Banff as a commonwealth walkway in honour of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. This will be the only site of a commonwealth walkway in Canada, and the committee plans to meet with local organizations in summer to discuss possible routes. The grand opening of the walkway will be in September 2017 to coincide with the 150th anniversary of confederation. The trails designated a commonwealth walkway will feature bronze plaques with Her Majesty’s personal Royal Cypher.
Banff Elementary School students Jaden Ellsworth and Sele Odagiri gave a briefing to council about the active transportation initiatives taking place at the school. In 2015, students walked, biked, and scootered approximately 7,600 km during the school year. Students are encouraged, and encourage one another, to use active transportation modes for environmental and health reasons. They asked that council continue to look at ways to increase the safety of biking and walking to school.
Council directed administration to pursue 50% funding assistance from Canada 150 Infrastructure Programs for a solar photovoltaic installation on The Fenlands, commit to fund the project balance if successful, and reinvest operational savings in the environmental reserve. If successful, a 187kW solar PV system would be installed on the roof of The Fenlands.
Council voted to confer the Freedom of the Town honour on the 41 Signal Regiment 3 Squadron (Calgary Detachment) for Saturday, October 22. This is a ceremonial honour between municipalities and military units, and Banff currently bestows the Freedom of the Town on the Rocky Mountain National Army Cadets in July for their parade on Banff Ave. This will be a similar format, and is being done to celebrate the 40 years the squadron has participated in Banff’s Remembrance Day ceremonies.
Five parking time limit changes have been made or will be in place soon this year following feedback to bylaw services. The seasonal time limit parking zone in front of the Post Office has been eliminated and is now a year-round no parking zone. This is being done to eliminate the confusion of the seasonal change back to a parking location and to reduce costs associated with the changes. Bow Avenue will go from an eight-hour time limit to a nine-hour time limit to allow commuters working an eight hour shift to park there without having to move their car during the day. The 15-minute zone on Wolf Street by Earls will return to a two-hour zone because there are seven other loading zones within 120 metres of that location. The size of the no parking zone at the alley entrances will increase by an additional five metres to enhance the clearance for delivery drivers. And time parameters will be added when no parking zones are in effect on four curbside waste bins in the downtown core to allow parking by bins outside service hours.