Council voted to direct administration to create a list of prominent heritage sites in town which are not current designated, and in times where there is urgent concern about the status of those sites, to inform council in a timely fashion. The motion was put forward by Coun. Peter Poole as a notice of motion at the January 15 council meeting. Any councillor may make a notice of motion, with the motion appearing on the agenda at the following regular council meeting.
Council gave first reading to Bylaws 390, 391 and 392, borrowing bylaws for three transit-related projects approved in the 2018–2027 ten-year capital plan. The bylaws are for financing bus shelter installations ($333,333), transit bus storage ($2,300,000) and a transit hub ($170,000). Financing for these projects will come from 30-year debentures from Alberta Capital Finance Authority. The interest rate will be set on the day the debentures are issued. For instance, the 30-year rate on January 12, 2018 was posted at 3.189%. The bylaws will be advertised for two weeks to allow for comments from the public. Second and third readings are scheduled for February 26. Details on the bylaws and how you can submit comments are available at banff.ca/bylawreviews
Council approved applying for a grant from the provincial government to expand the Alberta Municipal Benchmarking Initiative. The initiative has member municipalities compare eight services areas – water, wastewater, fire, police, solid waste, roadways, snow and ice management, and transit – to share knowledge, understand trends and identify opportunities for improvement. By applying for a $200,000 grant from the Alberta Community Partnership, the initiative plans to expand to 15 municipalities. Current members include the Town of Banff, Town of Canmore, Town of Okotoks, City of Lethbridge and City of Medicine Hat. Benchmarking reports are available at banff.ca/benchmarking
Council received a briefing on the results of the Neighbourhood Connectors pilot program held in 2017. Six neighbourhoods had a neighbourhood connector who knocked on doors encouraging residents to meet, share interest and ideas, and gather for block parties, movie nights, etc. Over 20 neighbourhood gatherings were held, over 600 residents attended, and all those who attended events said it increased their connection to their neighbours and neighbourhood. While there were many successes with the program, there were several challenges due to the varied work schedule of neighbours, the difficultly of organizing events in the busy summer months and having limited gathering space in some neighbourhoods. Because of the number of challenges, administration does not recommend a second year of this program. But, the intent is to trial a second neighbourhood project in 2018 that focuses on promoting the importance of neighbourhood connections, and by ensuring the availability of information and resources to encourage residents to gather on their own accord.