Lorraine Widmer-Carson, executive director of the Banff-Canmore Community Foundation, spoke as a delegation to council giving an update on the organization, their recent projects and grant initiatives. Rob Buffler was also introduced as the foundation’s new executive director, as Widmer-Carson is retiring after 12 years with the organization.
Banff resident Jon Whelan spoke to council as a delegation, discussing the need to record Town meetings, particularly council, the Municipal Planning Commission and Development Appeal Board. A report had been presented to council in 2015 outlining costs to keep a video/audio record of meetings. Council made a motion to have that report updated and presented during the 2017 service review.
Banff resident Alannah Pettigrew spoke on behalf of the Banff Residents Against Paid Parking, asking council to include a question on the 2017 ballot regarding paid parking that’s simple and concise, without any qualifiers.
Council received a briefing on the first year of the waste collection and transportation business operated by the Town’s resource recovery department. In 2016 the savings of providing this service in house was $207,713. The Town has contracts with Canmore, Lake Louise, and the Banff Field Unit to transport and dispose of waste.
Council approved the purchase of a highway tractor valued at $250,000 to be funded from the resource recovery rate stabilization fund. The vehicle will be used to haul waste for the resource recovery contracts servicing Canmore, Banff and Lake Louise. An additional truck will allow for a more cost effective, time efficient service. With the purchase of a new truck, there’s an anticipated annual savings of $21,430, in addition to the forecasted savings of $207,713.
Council postponed a decision on a parking management ballot question until the June 26 meeting to consider a motion to eliminate the paid parking question from the ballot. At a November 2014 finance committee meeting, a motion was made to recommend that council bring user pay parking, a new parkade and an intercept lot to a vote of the electors as part of the general election in 2017. Coun. Grant Canning made the motion, noting much has changed regarding parking since 2014, and that this ballot decision would hamper the efforts of future councils to continue seeking parking solutions for the community.
Council voted to revise the residential environmental rebate program in response to new provincial energy efficient rebate programs. The Town will match the provincial rebate for refrigerators by providing a $75 post-purchase rebate for CEE Tier 2 qualifying refrigerators and a $100 post-purchase rebate for CEE Tier 3 qualifying refrigerators. The Town will also discontinue rebates for clothes washers, programmable thermostats and window replacements that are covered by new provincial energy efficiency rebate programs. Information on the provincial rebates can be found at https://www.efficiencyalberta.ca/
Council received a summary on the Town’s capital reserves, and approved a one-time transfer of $400,000 from the general capital reserve to the fire capital reserve and $442,000 from the general capital reserve to the fleet capital reserve.
Council received a briefing on traffic and parking initiatives being implemented for the summer of 2017 by the Town and Parks Canada. These include traffic forecasting tools, hourly traffic volume monitoring, live travel time data, the online traffic dashboard, smart parking systems, Roam Public Transit enhancements, the On-It bus service from Calgary to Banff, the Banff to Lake Louise free shuttle, increased staff at parking lots within the national park, and more. Budget for each of the initiatives has been approved as part of the service review process. Parks Canada has committed funding for the Parks-related services, and the On-It service from Calgary has been made possible with the help of Parks Canada, the Calgary Regional Partnership, the Town of Banff and the Town of Canmore.