A delegation from the local chapter of the Association Canadienne Française de l’Alberta (ACFA) spoke to council, giving an update on the programs and services they provide to French speaking residents of the Bow Valley. One of the focus areas of the ACFA is to help new families integrate into the area and become more connected to the community.
Council have asked staff to come up with options to allow food trucks in the Commercial Banff Springs land use district following a presentation by Fairmont Hotels regional vice president David Roberts. Roberts spoke as a delegation, asking for council to consider allowing the hotel to operate a food truck on their property as another way to serve guests. In October 2014, council had voted against looking into legislative changes to allow mobile food trucks to operate throughout town; however, they were interested in exploring options to allow the service in this particular land use district. No timeframe was associated with when the report would be presented to council.
A delegation from the Parks Canada Asset Management Group gave council an update on the Spray River Bridge replacement project. Parks Canada is replacing the aging bridge that crosses the Spray at the Banff Springs Golf Course. According to the construction schedule, the new bridge will be open by the end of June and completed by September. The old bridge will be removed in November.
Council gave first reading to Bylaws 346 and 347 and set a public hearing on them for April 13 at 2 p.m. The land use amendment bylaws deal with existing commercial gross floor area transferability and associated fees. In 2013, council approved two different bylaws addressing commercial growth management and transferability:
-Bylaw 320 which permitted the transfer of Commercial Use Development Allotments (CDAs) between properties
-Bylaw 321 which permitted the transfer of existing Commercial Gross Floor Area (GFA) from one property to another.
Only Bylaw 320 was approved by the federal Minister of the Environment. (Town of Banff bylaws must be approved by the federal Minister of the Environment as required by the National Parks Act.) Bylaw 321 underwent a lengthy review by Parks Canada and their legal counsel, who provided the Town with direction on how amendments could alleviate ministerial concerns. These changes have been incorporated into Bylaw 346, which will repeal and replace Bylaw 321. Bylaw 347 deals with the fees that will be charged for transferring commercial gross floor area.
Council adopted the Recreation Programs and Services Master as a guiding document. The plan will be used to develop recreation programs from 2015-2020. Significant public feedback was used to help develop the plan, which identifies current needs and future demands for services in Banff.
Council authorized administration to go to market and enter into a contract from 2018-2020 for electricity. A two-year term will offer price and budget stability to serve the Town’s load profile requirements at a price lower than the current wholesale cost.
A financial update on the Banff Hockey Academy’s payments to the Town for ice rentals was presented to council. In August 2014, the Town entered into an agreement with the hockey academy to finance their arrears over a 60-month period. Subsequent to entering into the agreement, the hockey academy has not incurred any additional debt and has reduced the arrears to $88,931.43. Payments are current and the debt is scheduled to be paid in full by August 21, 2019.
Council appointed Scott McElhone to the Development Appeal Board and Laurie Harvey to the Municipal Planning Commission. Those seats had been vacant following the resignation of Alana Kirchhoff and David Michaels from the respective boards.