Banff Farmers Market manager Rene Geber spoke to council as a delegation, giving more information about the proposed market at the train station, while also requesting council reconsider allowing a market to operate in that location. On May 25, a 3-3 vote to allow a market at the railway station failed. Mayor Karen Sorensen, who was absent from the May 25 meeting, and therefore eligible to put the matter back on the table, made a notice of motion she would bring the issue before council at the August 17 meeting.
Banff resident Ralph Scurfield spoke to council as a delegation, requesting lights on the pedestrian bridge be dimmed or turned off at night. He said reduced lighting would discourage people from congregating on the bridge and causing late night noise. Council requested a report from administration on bridge lighting and the implications of that lighting. They also asked for statistics on noise complaints, late night/early morning pedestrian counts on the bridge and the capacity to dim the lights.
Council gave first reading to a traffic bylaw amendment that would limit slow moving vehicles from travelling across the bridge during peak times, and it would permit skateboarding in the 200 block of Bear Street during the Woonerff trial. The first part of the amendment would limit slow moving vehicles, like machinery not designed to exceed 40km/h or animal-drawn vehicles, from crossing the bridge 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. May to September, unless authorized by the town manager. This proposed change does not impact cyclists. With increasing vehicle volumes and more frequent use of the green override single pattern to move traffic during busy times, a slow moving vehicle has been seen to hamper traffic flow. The second part of the amendment would permit skateboarders to ride on the 200 block of Bear Street during the Woonerff trial, as the area is a 20km/h zone where vehicles must already yield to pedestrians and cyclists. Bylaw 349 – Traffic Bylaw Amendment No. 4 will be posted on Banff.ca for two weeks for public comment, and second and third reading of the bylaw is scheduled for August 17.
Council approved a new 2018 project budget of $286,000 to construct gym amenity spaces at Banff Elementary School, to be funded by the general capital reserve. The money will go towards building showers at the facility and storage space, to coincide with the upgrades taking place at the school, to build a gym that will have more amenities for broader community use. Council also voted to reduce the 2015 approved budget allocated to the Out of School/Parent Link program space construction to $503,240 for construction of the Out of School Program space only, and move the project to the 2018 capital budget. They also directed administration to investigate the capital costs required to provide enhanced Parent Link services at 101 Bear Street.
Council directed administration to buy equipment to facilitate an in-house long haul trucking service. Currently, the Town’s municipal solid waste long-haul trucking is provided by a private hauler under contract with the Bow Valley Waste Management Commission. That contract expires at the end of the year, and staff looked at a financial model to price out self-hauling, finding savings could be realized if the service was taken in-house. Council approved purchasing up to $990,000 of equipment (reduced by $150,000 should the Town of Canmore opt out) to run the service. $490,000 of the funds will come from the solid waste rate stabilization reserve, and the balance will be borrowed from the water capital reserve. Council also approved spending up to $10,000 to implement new systems ahead of the January 1, 2016 start date, with funding coming from the solid waste rate stabilization reserve.
Council approved a two-tier wage system to support volunteer firefighter recruitment and retention. The two tier wage system will compensate volunteers at the same hourly wage (approx. $20 to $28 per hour) they are currently receiving for training, duty crews and other duties around the fire hall. The second tier will compensate at a higher hourly wage ($45 per hour) for emergency response. Due to higher than average revenue this fiscal year, no additional funding would be required to implement the system for 2015.
Council gave three readings to a bylaw formally establishing a Governance and Finance Committee. The vision of the Governance and Finance Committee is to create an opportunity for council to have an in-depth discussion of issues and a forum for information sharing prior to council’s formal deliberation in making decisions.