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Posted on: November 10, 2020

Council briefs for November 9, 2020

COVID-19 Update

The Banff/ID9 area has seven active cases of COVID-19 as of November 9. The community will move to a “watch status” at 10 active cases. If this occurs, Banff would be required to adopt the restrictions of 15 or fewer people for indoor and outdoor social/family gatherings.

With the significant increase in the number of positive COVID cases in Alberta, Alberta Health Services (AHS) has changed the system of notifying people who have been in close contact with an individual who tests positive. AHS continues to notify close contacts if people are in a priority group, which includes health care workers, minors, or people who work or live in within communal facilities (which does not include staff accommodation). For everyone else, an individual who tests positive is asked to notify all people with whom they have been in close contact.

The Town is encouraging all individuals and employers to be aware of the need to track close contacts on a daily basis, and their responsibilities to notify people who have been in close contact with someone who tests positive for COVID-19.

The Town is also encouraging residents to download the ABTrace Together App. The technical issues have been resolved and no personal information is shared. Visit https://www.alberta.ca/ab-trace-together.aspx for info and to download. Although the Town of Banff has advocated to the Government of Alberta to adopt the federal contact tracing app, the province does not appear to plan to move to the federal application at this time.

For more important info on individual and business responsibilities, visit https://banff.ca/CivicAlerts.aspx?AID=1311

 Forecasted Deficit of $6,064

The Town has an overall forecasted deficit of $6,064 according to the third quarter financial statements. Council heard there were a number of COVID-related variances forecasted. The following is a summary of the larger variances:

  • There is a forecasted decrease in business licence revenue of $3.78 million, which is fully offset by a decrease in contracted services of $3.78 million
  • There is a forecasted decrease in consumption charges of $1.43 million, which is fully offset by a decrease in transfers to the Water, Sewer & Resource Recover Capital reserves
  • There is an increase in operating government grants of $6.2 million, of which $6 million relates to the support program for COVID costs (Municipal Operating Support Transfer grant), and the remaining $200,000 relate to Settlement Support and other community service grants.
  • An increase in staff costs of $22,000 above the COVID budget is based on council motions COU20-143 (Banff Ave Pedestrian Zone $94,000), COU20-146 (Outdoor seating on wolf street $12,000), COU20-173 (COVID Ambassadors $53,000), and $137,000 in grant funded positions, offset by overall wage savings above the COVID target of $274,000.
  • A total targeted wage/benefit savings identified in the COVID budget of $1.04 million with an additional wage savings of $274,000 identified to bring total wage/benefit savings in the original 2020 budget to $1.3 million
  • Of total targeted training/conference/travel savings identified in the COVID budget of $270,000, $26,000 remains as unidentified savings.
  • Increase in capital government grants of $3.2 million, fully offset by capital reserve transfers

 Update to waste bylaws proposed for businesses

A proposed update to waste bylaws could allow some businesses to use residential food waste bins to dispose of food scraps and food-soiled paper.

Part of the bylaw proposal is to require non-residential sector entities to provide infrastructure for diversion of food scraps and food-soiled paper, but also permit specific non-residential sector entities to deposit food scraps and food-soiled paper in residential food bins.

This is being proposed to help the town move towards zero waste, a concept council adopted in 2018 to serve as a guide for increasing waste diversion with a target of 70% diversion by 2028 and zero waste going to landfill by 2050.

It also addressed human-wildlife coexistence concerns by proposing to mandate an enclosed area inaccessible to wildlife where garbage bins and food waste material is stored before collection.

Banff’s non-residential sector is comprised of businesses, organizations and institutions, and is responsible for approximately 65% of municipal solid waste. Results from a 2015-2016 waste characterization study showed approximately 48% of non-residential waste to landfill is food scraps and food-soiled paper which could have been diverted for composting.

A proposed bylaw amendment with respect to construction, renovation, and demolition (CRD) waste management would require all construction waste storage containers have wildlife-proof covers and require that all CRD waste materials are separated out for recycling streams. This would also meet council’s goals of waste diversion and human-wildlife coexistence measures.

Council gave first reading to Proposed Bylaw 433 – Amendments to Bylaw 376, the Residential Waste Bylaw, and Proposed Bylaw 434 – Amendments to Bylaw 377. Second and third reading will be considered by council at a future meeting.

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