Mayor Karen Sorensen announced the Town of Banff was awarded a $32,000 grant from the Alberta Historical Resources Foundation. The funding will go towards preservation and restoration work on the Bow River Bridge, the Old Banff Cemetery and the Banff Power Substation. These three landmarks were formally recognized and legally protected by council in 2016 as municipal heritage resources.
Council gave second and third reading to Bylaw 389, a Land Use Bylaw amending bylaw that sets development fees for the year. Fees and charges are reviewed annually as part of the budget process and amendments to the 2018 development fee schedule are intended to create equitable fees and cost recovery for all development review services. A public hearing on the fee changes was held December 18, 2017, and there were no submissions from the public.
Council directed administration to return with a report on policy options for a comprehensive heritage protection plan. The motion was made after a discussion on whether the protection of heritage properties could be achieved through development fees. After passing the development fee changes, council voted to receive a report on further ways to protect local heritage resources.
Council received a briefing on the results of the 2017 municipal census. Municipalities conduct a census to determine a total population count, which is the basis for per capita grants issued by the province. The permanent population count submitted to the province was 8,865 and the shadow population submitted was 793, for a total submitted population of 9,658. Because Banff’s shadow population is both less than 10% of the permanent population and less than 1,000 people, it did not meet the provincial regulations for it to be counted, therefore Banff’s official population is 8,865. Each resident counted represents approximately $213 in provincial funding. Therefore, the omitted shadow population of 793 residents represents $168,909 in annual provincial funding. In addition to the population count, the municipal census also gathers information to help the Town develop future plans, policies and programs. Questions were asked about place of work, if residents were owners or renters and how residents commute to work.
- 94% of respondents say they work in Banff. The data reflects a 6% increase over 2014.
- 61% say they rent, while 39% say they own their home. The data reflects a 4% shift in the percentage of renters to owners in Banff over the last three years.
- In the summer months, 45% say they walk to work, 30% use a motor vehicle, 17% ride a bike, 5% take transit, 2% car pool and 2% list other. Data reflects an increase in summer commute to work in the areas of walking ( 4%) and transit ( 1%) whereas decreases were seen in own motor vehicle (-3%), and bicycle (-2%).
- In the winter months, 46% say they walk to work, 41% use a motor vehicle, 6% use transit, 2% ride a bike, 2% car pool and 2% list other. Data reflects an increase in winter commute to work in the areas of walking ( 2%) whereas decreases were seen in own motor vehicle (-4%). Transit and cycling were both static.