Council passed second and third readings of borrowing bylaws 390, 391 and 392. The borrowing bylaws enable the Town to access two-thirds GreenTrip funding for the transit shelters and bus storage facility, as well as debt finance the transit hub. Councillor DiManno declared a conflict and was not part of the discussion or vote.
Council gave second and third reading on Bylaw 420–Cannabis and Cannabis related definitions, as amended. Residents and visitors can provide their input regarding the use and sale of cannabis in Banff through an online survey at banff.ca/policyreview
. The survey is open until March 17.
Council directed administration to update the sidewalk seating policy and fees. They directed that fees be based on full service versus counter service and number of tables and chairs; that sidewalk seating encroachment on Caribou and Wolf streets into the two-metre pedestrian zone be removed; and that the policy be amended to guide enforcement for compliance as two written warnings, followed by revocation of the permit for the remainder of the year with no refund, but the ability to reapply the following year. They also asked for a report on the Alberta Liquor and Gaming Commission guideline amendments and how they related to sidewalk seating in Banff. Councillors Poole and Canning declared a conflict and were not part of the discussion or vote.
Council supported the move to replace the Town’s Commercial Display Fireworks (on Canada Day, Halloween and New Year’s Eve) with special event pyrotechnic shows within the same $35,000 annual budget, and asked for an update at service review. Apart from environmental considerations, Bow Valley Naturalists specifically expressed concerned with the effects on wildlife and domestic animals of the noise associated with commercial display fireworks. According to Parks Canada, effects of a range of noise from events have been anecdotally observed, from summer nesting birds to winter elk already distressed by the fall rut. Noise from pyrotechnic special effects is contained within the event site.
Council requested administration return with options to replace underground utilities as part of the Bear Street Woonerff scope of work. The water main and sewer main in this area are estimated to be 111 years old. Upgrading both systems while undertaking the Woonerff resurfacing would minimize the risk of emergency repairs on a new road surface. The temporary woonerff will be installed again in 2018 while detailed design is finalized, with construction of the new woonerff scheduled for 2019. Councillor Poole declared a conflict and was not part of the discussion or vote.
Council received two briefings related to the Trail Master Plan. The first included a consultant evaluation report on sharrows. The second report was an update on new trail signage and wayfinding which is underway, with 152 signs planned for installation before summer.
Council received a briefing on 2017 pedestrian traffic. Average yearly pedestrian volume has increased since 2014 by 22% on the Bow River Bridge and 55% on the pedestrian bridge, compared to an 11% increase in vehicle traffic over the same period. The highest volumes occur in summer with nearly 12,000 pedestrian crossings of the Bow River a day on average. However, winter foot traffic over the bridge grew at a greater rate. Banff Avenue pedestrian counts also increased in 2017, at a rate similar to vehicle traffic. The average pedestrian count on Banff Avenue is about 23,000 in summer and 11,000 in winter.
Council received a report on The Basement, a youth drop in centre at the Community Foundation offices on Banff Avenue. The Basement is funded by the Pauw Foundation, along with support from the Community Foundation and the Town of Banff, and offers youths (grades 7 – 10) access to recreational activities such as rock climbing and hiking as well as to more unstructured activities like board games or foosball in a safe, supervised space. The Basement is open from 3 to 6 p.m. Monday through Thursday.
The next meeting of council is Monday, March 12 at 2 p.m. at Town Hall.