Council directed administration to enter into negotiations with the current canoe concession operator for a two-year extension to their contract. The existing lease is a five year agreement ending October 15, 2018 with an option of a two year extension. The canoe concession has been operated as the “Banff Canoe Club” by Banff Adventures for the past four seasons, and they have met or exceeded the obligations of the lease. The lease includes restrictions on pricing, the number of boats, uses, and the season of operation. It also specifies that the dock is a municipal recreation facility, and public access must be maintained.
Council set property tax rates for 2018. The municipal tax levy on an average property is expected to increase 7.37%. During budget preparation, it was estimated that the overall tax increase would be 5.34%. However, with the actual municipal levy, education levy, Bow Valley Regional Housing levy, and overall assessment growth factored in, the overall tax levy increase moves to 7.37%. An average residential dwelling in 2018 would be assessed at $487,000. An average residential dwelling would see an annual increase in overall taxes of $89. It is important to note that these changes in tax bills are average and do not reflect individual property tax changes. A property that has seen a higher than average assessment increase will see a greater than average increase in their tax bill and a property that has seen a lower than average assessment increase will see a lower than average tax increase.
Additional tax info:
- This is the first time in six years that the growth in the residential assessment outpaced growth in non-residential assessment.
- The total overall taxable assessment for the Town of Banff has increased by 13.9% from $2.46 billion to $2.80 billion.
- The Education Tax Levy is set by the province. It makes up 28% of the overall tax levy. For 2018 it has increased by $588,368 to $7,750,388.
- The Bow Valley Regional Housing Tax Levy has decreased from $387,000 in 2017 to $354,810 in 2018. The BVRH tax levy will decrease by 7.64%, and it makes up 1.3% of the overall tax levy.
- Beginning in 2018 the Province assumed the responsibility for the Designated Industrial (DI) property assessment as a component of the recent legislated change within the Municipal Government Act. As such they have applied an additional tax rate of $0.034178 per $1,000 of assessed DI property assessment. As Banff has very little in the way of DI property this will only result in a total of $357 being levied in 2018.
- The 2018 Non-residential to Residential Tax Rate Split is 4.41:1.
Council directed administration to create on-road routes for cyclists/pedestrians on Tunnel Mountain Road and Buffalo Street in the spring of 2018. Recommended in the Trails Master Plan, lines will be painted on the roads giving cyclists and pedestrians more room while creating a “road diet” for vehicles. For Tunnel, an uphill lane will be created, while going downhill cyclists would be expected to mix with vehicles, as is currently the case. On Buffalo going uphill, a wider multi-use pedestrian/bike lane will be created, while downhill cyclists would be expected to mix with vehicles, as is currently the case. Public feedback was collected as part of this process, and 80 responses were received throughout the month of April. Line painting for these road changes could be completed by the end of May, weather permitting.
Council received a briefing on the Town Hall front entry modernization project. Due to changes in service delivery as well as the demographics of Banff since the development of Town Hall, the reception area and how we interact with customers is in need of functional changes to better serve the public. This project aims to increase the efficiency of the available space in the front entry area, increase the sense of welcoming that the building can offer, increase visibility of community services, and add additional waiting area space for members of the public. Detailed design will occur throughout the summer of 2018 with construction in the fall and/or winter of 2019. A temporary reception and office space plan will be developed during the planning phase such that service disruptions can be kept to a minimum.