YWCA of Banff CEO Connie MacDonald spoke as a delegation to council, giving an update on the local charity’s organizational and strategic plan. She spoke of the success of their latest fundraiser, Walk a Mile in Her Shoes, their goal to build a shelter in Canmore, and how they continue to provide and advocate for housing in Banff. The YWCA of Banff also showed support for the town’s housing sustainability coordinator position, and its desire to collaborate to find solutions for affordable housing in the community.
Council directed administration to amend the Snow and Ice Management Policy to indicate 7mm washed rock gyra is the town’s standard winter abrasive. The Town has been using the product on a trial basis for the past two winters and has found it produces significantly less dust that the previously used material, making spring cleanup a much easier process. It also reduces the time needed for street sweeping in the spring. Council also requested a report for more information on the number of stalls that would be impacted by overnight parking restrictions in the downtown core; the operating impacts of an overnight parking restrictions and/or snow route on the streets and on the bylaw department; implications of 24-hour vehicle removal notice rather than 72-hour notice; and the timing and seasonality of overnight parking restrictions.
Council voted to add $125,000 to the 2015 capital budget to fund improvements to 101 Bear Street. The funds, coming from the general capital reserve, will go towards expanding the space used by the Parent Link program and space leased by the Banff Seniors Society. Parent Link has a popular drop in program for parents and children at 101 Bear Street, and in 2014 it saw 482 unique participants access the program 5,416 times. The current space it uses is just over 400 square feet, and it is often at capacity. Council had initially approved a total expenditure of $881,000 on June 23, 2014 to include a new Parent Link space and Out of School Care in the Banff Elementary School renovation. Based on the square footage being proposed in that renovation, the Parent Link portion of the project would have represented approximately $500,000 of the total cost. During the design process in 2015, cost estimates for Parent Link and Out of School Care space at the elementary school rose significantly. As a result, council moved to pursue the Out of School Care construction on-site at the elementary school, and directed administration to explore renovation options at 101 Bear Street for Parent Link, which comes with the lower cost of $125,000. The Banff Seniors Society, which leases 101 Bear Street for programming, has voiced their support for the renovations.