Banff Marathon executive director Paul Regensburg spoke to council as a delegation to give an overview of the 2017 race and speak about their sustainability initiatives. Regensburg said the race brought an estimated 11,270 visitors to Banff with the 2,250 participants. Racers came from 27 different countries, 41 US states, 11 provinces and 107 Alberta communities. There were 134 locals who participated in one of the Banff Marathon’s events. Regensburg also reported that through their sustainability work, the 2017 race produced 754lbs of waste, and 99.01% of that waste was diverted from the landfill. The Banff Marathon plans to return in 2018 on the third weekend in June.
Council voted to lower the flag at Town Hall to half-mast on December 15, the day of a memorial service for former town councillor Bill Roberge. Roberge was born and raised in Banff, served on the local school board, many service groups in town, and spent two terms on council. A Celebration of Life gathering for friends and family will be held at the Banff Legion.
Council gave three readings to the 2018 Temporary Borrowing Bylaw 247-12. This bylaw authorizes administration to borrow funds to cover operating expenses for the period of time prior to the Town raising budgeted revenue for the year. This is done annually, and the maximum borrow amount of $12.6 million outlined in the bylaw is calculated as approximately half of the total tax levy for the year plus half of the estimated Alberta School Tax levy, which would be payable prior to June 30.
Council gave first reading to Bylaw 388 – 2018 Fees and Charges. This bylaw is to set the fees charges for municipal services and facilities in 2018. Significant changes are proposed for business licence fees, burial fees, fire department, offsite levies, commercial parking rates, recreation fees, water sewer rates, street use fees, and development fees. Changes were reviewed at the November 13 meeting of the Governance and Finance Committee, and the bylaw is scheduled to be reviewed by council again on Monday, December 11. The bylaw, and details on how to submit feedback to council, are available at banff.ca/bylawreviews
. Council also gave first reading to Bylaw 389 – Land Use Bylaw Amending Bylaw – Development Fees Amendment, and set a public hearing on Monday, December 18, at 2 p.m. Fees set through the Land Use Bylaw require a public hearing prior to final approval and therefore a separate Bylaw 389 has been prepared for consideration. Proposed fees were calculated based on cost-recovery for municipal services provided and were compared to fees for similar Alberta communities. They include:
- Residential Development Permits – New Construction Single Detached Housing
- Commercial Development Permits – New Construction, Additions, Renovations, Major Interior and Exterior Renovations
- Commercial Change of Use
- Bed and Breakfast Homes
- Bed and Breakfast Renewals
- Cash Contribution In Lieu of Onsite Garbage Storage, Recycling and Collection
- File and Research Fees
- Development Permit Extensions and Renewals
The draft bylaw can be viewed at banff.ca/bylawreviews
along with details on how to submit feedback to council.
Council gave first reading to Bylaw 420 - Town of Banff Land Use Bylaw Amending Bylaw – Cannabis and Cannabis Related Businesses Definitions and scheduled a public hearing for Monday, February 12, 2018 at 2 p.m. The bylaw will define cannabis and cannabis related businesses in the Land Use Bylaw in advance of the Government of Canada adopting the proposed Cannabis Act. A copy of the draft bylaw is available at banff.ca/bylawreviews
along with details on how to submit feedback to council.
Council appointed Raymond Horyn to the Development Appeal Board for a one-year term and appointed Zahra Soar to the Banff Public Library Board for a three year term. At the October 30 annual organizational meeting, council asked administration contact individuals who had applied for council committees, but had not been appointed, if they would be interested serving on a board with a vacancy. Two applicants expressed an interest in the library board and appeal board.
Council received a briefing on website and social media statistics for Banff.ca
and the Town’s primary Facebook, Instagram and Twitter accounts. Website visitation continues to increase year over year. The total number of visits for 2016 was 1,252,217 and January 1, 2017 to October 29, 2017 visits were at 1,159,153 with just over 2 million pageviews. Facebook.com/BanffTown, is the Town’s most widely followed social media platform with 32,700 likes. Next is Instagram (@banfftown) with 26,000 followers, and Twitter (@banff_town) with 9,600 followers.
Council received a briefing on the success of the RCMP Musical Ride performances held in Banff September 2-3 in celebration of Canada 150. Council approved an event budget of $64,500. Revenue from ticket sales would cover a portion of the cost, with the shortfall funded from the budget stabilization reserve. Administration kept ticket prices at a cost-effective rate for spectators, charging $16 per ticket, $48 for a family pack of four tickets, and free entry for children two and under. Free tickets were also provided to local RCMP members and their families. As a result, administration budgeted for $15,000 to come from the budget stabilization reserve to cover the costs of producing this event. However, administration was able to secure partnerships with several local businesses, including the Banff Trail Riders, Mountain FM, and Discover Banff Tours, who provided in-kind support or services at cost. With ticket revenues, this reduced the overall cost of the event to $7,765.89.
Council received a briefing on the summer 2017 communications strategies outcomes. In response to the anticipated visitation growth during the Canada 150 celebrations and the free national park pass, the Town of Banff collaborated with Parks Canada and Banff & Lake Louise Tourism to develop and implement a visitor experience communication strategy. The campaign was designed to educate travellers and residents on alternative ways to explore and experience Banff National Park during Canada 150. The communications efforts from these strategies combined with the additional promotion by Parks Canada and the Calgary Regional Partnership for On-It transit had a noteworthy impact on visitor behaviour and transit ridership this summer. As well, the visitor experience campaign strengthened the partnership between all three collaborators. The Roam marketing strategy raised awareness of public transit in the townsite among Calgary visitors.
Council received a briefing on the Banff local transit service review. Bow Valley Regional Transit Services Commission, in collaboration with the Town of Banff, commissioned Dillon Consulting Limited to conduct a service review of the Banff local transit routes and return a report itemizing opportunities for increased route optimization and efficiency. Some key points include:
- Current routes are optimized for efficiency and no recommendations are being made for significant changes to routes 1 and 2, with frequency being the key change identified for improvement. Dillon concluded that Roam’s routes are the most practical, with buses travelling on Banff Avenue and travelling to the destinations currently serviced being optimal. Schedule adherence has been identified by Dillon as a concern in the summer months with frequency increases as a viable solution. Stops on each route were analyzed with no recommendations being made for changes at this time.
- Roam transit within Banff operates at a very high service utilization rate of approximately 40 boardings per revenue hour. Dillon compared Banff to a city of 33,000 people in order to account for visitor population – this size of city would typically realize 15 boardings per revenue hour.
- Operating revenue to cost ratio, including administration for Route 1, 2 and 4 are predicted to be at approximately 59% for 2017. According to Dillon: “this is a very high revenue-cost ratio for a system this size”.