Darcy Edison, CAO of the Bow Valley Waste Management Commission, presented the manager’s annual report during a delegation, giving a brief financial update and listing potential growth areas for the commission. The report also spoke about the organization’s goals for the future, like diversifying revenues streams, ensuring landfill capacity and continuing to improve diversion rates through new programs and partnerships. The Town of Banff is a founding member of the waste commission, along with the MD of Bighorn and the Town of Canmore.
Council gave three readings the tax penalty and installment payment bylaw. Only some general housekeeping changes were made to Bylaw 339, and no changes to the tax installment payment plan or tax penalties were made.
A briefing on reducing the impacts of special events on the town was presented to council. Based on public feedback, certain event routes were changed in 2014 to reduce the impact downtown and further changes are planned for 2015. As an example, the RBC GranFondo route was changed for 2014 to avoid downtown and Banff Avenue altogether. For 2015, no road closures will be permitted in the 100 to 300 blocks of Banff Avenue for three months between June 15 and September 15, with the exception of the Canada Day parade and the Freedom of the Town parade. Of the two other events that currently fall in this no closure window – Bike Fest and the Subaru Banff Triathlon – Bike Fest will be moving to an earlier date, and the organizers of the triathlon have indicated they’re willing to work within the new parameters set by the town.
Council got an update on the progress of the yellow curb paint removal project. One of council’s priorities in the 2013/2014 Service Review was to have the yellow paint on curbs removed to improve aesthetics in town. The yellow curbs were also duplicating the information on parking signs, which are needed for bylaw enforcement, and take precedence over yellow curbs. The town acquired a Geo-Blaster to remove the paint, and so far 75% of the 4,500 metres of yellow curbs have been removed. It’s anticipated the project will be completed by the end of the year.
Council asked for a report with options for incentives for residents to remove fruit trees from their property. The motion was made following a brief report that the town had issued emergency tree cutting permits for several fruit trees in Whiskey Creek after Parks Canada notified the town of a bear feeding on them. Town regulations prohibit any new developments from planting fruit trees, but there are currently no incentives to remove fruit trees from existing properties.