The Town of Banff’s 2015-2025 capital and 2015-2017 operating budgets were passed by council on Thursday, December 18. No further changes to the budget were made at the meeting. The overall tax increase is expected to be 4.52%. The average residential household would see an overall monthly impact of $13.65. The tax rates will be established and passed before May 15, 2015, after assessments are received. Three readings were given to the 2015 temporary borrowing bylaw. This bylaw allows administration to borrow funds to cover operating expenses until the town is able to collect revenue during the year. Third reading was given to the waste bylaw amendment setting solid waste rates for 2015-2016. Fees for dropping off compact fluorescents and fluorescent tubes to the town’s operations yard were removed to encourage commercial operators to recycle old lights instead of throwing them away. Council amended the financial plan to include a 10-year strategy to close the infrastructure deficit in the fire reserve. The reserve funds specific equipment used by the fire department such as fire trucks, bunker gear, pagers, Jaws of Life and hoses. Council voted to establish a building replacement and refurbishment reserve. A 10-year building and lifecycle capital plan will be brought to council each year as part of the capital budget. Council directed administration to return with a report outlining initiatives that the town could participate in and possible projects to encourage our community to work toward the goal of 100% renewable energy by 2050. Mayor and council wished all residents a happy holiday and best wishes for the new year.