Mayor Karen Sorensen started the meeting by thanking Councillor Chip Olver for her 20 years of service on town council. Olver was first elected in a by-election in March 1994. Her election in October 2013 began her seventh term on Banff’s council. Council voted to submit Councillor Olver’s name to the Alberta Urban Municipalities Association for inclusion in their Distinguished Service Award, which recognizes elected officials in Alberta who have served 20 or more years on municipal council.
Council voted to dedicate an additional $465,598 to the Cave Avenue reconstruction project, selecting “Option 2” as the preferred design. That option includes rebuilding the two driving lanes and including a sidewalk on the north side, moving the street lights to the north side and burying the overhead utilities. The town tendered the project in March 2014, and of the three bids received, the lowest came in $465,598 over budget, necessitating the funding increase from the general capital reserves. Reconstructing Cave Avenue has been discussed since the 1995 Cave/Spray/Kootenay Area Redevelopment Plan, and in 2009 a number of public consultation processes were carried out. Feedback on designs was also gathered in 2012, and the project was deferred to 2014 so further public engagement and feedback could be sought. Updates on this project will be posted to Banff.ca/caveave.
Reviewing the 2013 Financial Results, council voted to direct administration to transfer $16,350 from the Budget Stabilization Reserve to offset the 2013 unrestricted deficit. They also voted to hold the transfer to General Capital Reserves in Police Services at the budgeted level of $310,000. Higher than expected police staffing levels resulted in a larger invoice from the RCMP, but due to more officers patrolling in Banff, parking and traffic fine revenue was $123,000 more than expected. The financial plan says fine revenue should be offset by a transfer to the General Capital Reserves, but administration recommended for this year, the transfer be held at $310,000 and the excess $123,000 generated in fines be used to offset the increased policing costs.
Council also approved the 2013 Audited Financial Statements. In accordance with the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act, council went in camera to receive advice from representatives from KPMG Chartered Accountants. Alberta municipalities must prepare annual audited financial statements and upon approval from council, they must be submitted to Alberta Municipal Affairs by April 30 of each year.
Council received a report on the campaign disclosure statements from the 2013 municipal election, a requirement under the Local Authorities Election Act. Candidates are required to disclose all contributions, listing separately any contributions greater than $100, and any other funding sources and expenses. Statements are available for review at Town Hall or online at Banff.ca.