Banff Centre president Jeff Melanson spoke to council as a delegation, giving an update on the organization’s strategic plan for the future, and their campus development. Council also heard from the Banff Centre’s Marie-Eve Marchand on the launch of Banff Centre Radio, which is now broadcasting on 101.1 and 103.1.
Council voted in favour of partnering with the Canadian Rockies Public Schools to construct an addition to the Banff Elementary School to accommodate Banff’s Bow Valley Parent Link and Out of School Club programs. The 2015 capital budget was amended to include $881,000 for the project. For over 40 years, the town and school board have had a Joint Use Agreement that has allowed for the reciprocal use of town and school facilities for education, recreation, sport and more. Along with the commitment of funds, council also voted to amend the 2016 capital budget to include $75,000 or renovations and improvements to 101 Bear Street to improve the usage of space in the facility, as well as amending the 2016 operating budget for an additional $12,700 for the elementary school and $2,400 for 101 Bear Street for increased operational costs associated with programs and increased usage.
Council amended the 2014 operating budget by $8,840 to implement new payroll and human resources software. This funding change is in addition to a capital request made in 2014 due to two user licenses being omitted from the original quote for the software. Funding will come from the WCB surplus rebate received in April.
Council voted to commit $8,500 to a project that will help utilize private parking stalls for public use. The money, coming from the budget stabilization reserve, will pay for temporary parking signage for private parking lot operators to use during peak periods; online advertising of those stalls on banffparking.ca; and maintaining and distributing a registry of private parking stalls for long-term rental. The Banff Lake Louise Hotel Motel Association indicated some of their members had parking stalls on their property that were going unused, and that they would be willing to make them accessible to the public to help address the existing parking shortfall.
Council approved an operating budget amendment to transfer any unspent 2014 budgeted funds for the Get Out youth program expansion (estimated at $7,600) into the general operating reserve to be used to fund the program into the 2015 operating year. The Get Out program began as a pilot project in 2011 to provide evening sport and play programs both indoors and outdoors for students in Grades 7-10.
Council received a briefing on the Out of School Club program the town offers to children in Grades K-6. The 2013/2014 school year was the first year the program included Kindergarten aged children. It was expanded after the Banff Child Care Centre stopped offering afterschool care for kindergarten children due to financial reasons. The town’s program had 18 unique users during the school year and on average eight to nine children daily. The coming year will see over 50 families enrolling their children in kindergarten.
Council received a briefing on the long weekend traffic management strategy for the July long weekend. Administration will trial a number of different actions to help manage traffic over the weekend. Some tactics include modified signal timing, using pedestrian management staff along Banff Ave., and a reactive change to traffic signals could also be undertaken. That involves a team of people manually coordinating green light times with the aim of easing traffic congestion.
Council asked administration to provide a report on conducting a community consultation process following the three month trial of user-pay parking this summer.