Council agreed to waive fees for the instillation of street pole banners promoting The Banff Centre’s Children’s Festival following a delegation from the organization’s new president, Janice Price. The one-day festival will be held May 16, and the Town will be promotion partners by providing the banner installation service. Council also made a motion to have the street pole banner application updated to note council prefers receiving requests to waive fees in conjunction with annual budget deliberations for better financial planning.
Hans Holthuis and Joey O’Brien spoke to council as a delegation on behalf of the Banff/Canmore Speed Skating Club. They asked for consideration for the construction of an outdoor long-track speed skating oval in the winter. Council encouraged the club to continue working with administration on developing the idea, as speed skating amenities are mentioned in the Banff Recreation Grounds Redevelopment Plan.
The Banff Recreation Grounds Redevelopment Plan was adopted by council as a guiding document that will help determine updates and improvements to the site over the next 10 to 15 years. The plan, developed with extensive input from the community, has over 60 recommendations to improve the site. Some specifics include the demand for a permanent skateboard park, opportunities for greenhouse expansion, upgrades to the rugby/soccer pitch, adventure playground, children’s bike skills park, fenced off-leash dog park and more. The full plan can be viewed at Banff.ca/recplan. Each component will return to council with full capital and operating costs for approval.
Council voted to reorganize the structure of the town’s operations division to help with succession planning, leadership development, and to create additional opportunities for revenue generation. As part of the plan, there will be four reclassified positions and one new full-time equivalent position. The total wage and benefit cost to implement it is $89,689, with $63,054 being allocated to utilities (water, sanitary and resource recovery) and $26,635 being allocated to tax funding. Surpluses realized through wage and benefit savings could fund 50% or $44,844 of the overall expense, while net income from new revenue sources gained through new business development could fund the balance of $44,845, resulting in no net cost to either taxes or utility rates. Council also asked for a follow-up report on what new revenues the town was successful in acquiring due to the reorganization.
The town will pursue funding from the Small Communities Fund for a modular waste and recycling centre and a wastewater treatment plant modernization project following a vote from council. An elevated modular eco-centre would replace the drop-off yard, mitigating future contamination liability and increase waste diversion. The wastewater treatment plant project includes major improvements to the plant’s systems, modernizing the facility.
Council received a briefing on the health and safety risk management administrator role, which had been a one-year part-time position with the town, ending April 15.
Council also received a briefing on the invasive weeds management program. The Town of Banff manages invasive plants through mechanical means only within the town boundary, as pesticides and herbicides are not used, although in 2014 the Town did allow Parks Canada staff to use herbicides for spot treatment of yellow clematis within the townsite.
Council made several motions to receive additional information based on requests made by the Municipal Planning Commission at their February 18 meeting. Council asked for a report on any issues or complaints regarding laneway infringement of private parking stalls in the Bear/Lynx laneway, and in general of private stalls encroaching into public laneways. They asked for a report on whether the parkade clearance needed to be expanded to a greater height, or if any complaints had been received of the exiting height. They asked for a report on the incorporation of public art into construction hoarding on commercial property. And they postponed a vote on establishing guidelines for the protection of view sheds until after receiving a presentation that had been given to the Municipal Planning Commission on the subject.