Council adopted the Trails Master Plan to help guide the development of trails and trail maintenance for the next 10 years. The plan has 62 suggested actions that range from improving access to the Bow Falls in the winter, to including distance markers along key trail routes. Two public surveys, a stakeholder workshop and an open house were all held to gather public input on this plan. Because the plan is intended to guide project planning, no timing is associated with completing any one action. It also means that some projects included in the plan may never come to fruition, but are part of the plan to show what might be possible. Some of the goals in developing the plan were to:
Encourage active commuting, particularly during summer months
Improve connectivity, particularly to key destinations
Improve wayfinding and communications
Improve the Town’s understanding of trail use statistics
Improve visitor experiences
Formalize trail use regulations, trail type classifications, and designated uses
Improve all-season use of trails
The last Trails Plan was completed in 1992.
Council approved a new program to encourage residents to install solar photovoltaic systems on their homes. The incentive program will be funded from the environmental reserve, and participants will be selected through a lottery in order to take part. The program will require those qualifying homeowners to pay for the installation of the solar system, and then they would receive a top-up payment over the next seven years, based on a formula, to help make the solar investment more affordable. This program could support approximately 26 new residential and commercial solar photovoltaic systems in Banff. This initiative follows the Banff Community Plan’s National Environment goal to “Be an environmental role model for communities around the world.” Council also asked for a report on options for permit subsidies to be presented at a later date, as well as a report on the success of the incentive, along with options for any adjustments to the program.