Council approved Banff’s participation in a regional collaboration looking to reinstating a passenger rail service between Calgary and the Bow Valley. Approving the collaboration allows the town and partners to apply for funding from the Alberta Community Partnership, which has the objective “to improve the viability and long-term sustainability of municipalities by providing support for regional collaboration and capacity building initiatives.” The Town of Banff is taking the lead on the concept of reinstating passenger rail as a way to encourage public transit and alleviate vehicle congestion. Vehicle congestion is an issue all the partnering municipalities – Calgary, Cochrane, Canmore and Lake Louise – are faced with.
Council approved additional snow and ice management from seniors’ residences leading to the downtown core. To accommodate the increase in service, a .5 FTE position will be created, increasing the annual operating budget by $24,700 for wages and benefits. The town will also purchase a sidewalk tractor, budgeted at $70,380 and increase the operating budget by $7,380 annual for amortization. Council asked for staff to return at the March 14 meeting with an update on the timing of when this increased service could begin. Council also asked for a workshop to be held in the summer of 2016 to look at the criteria for which sidewalks are cleaned by the Town.
The 2016 Public Artwork Acquisition and Installation request for decision was removed from the agenda because the developer had decided to work within the original budget.
Council approved Parade Policy 5000, updating the former Parade Safety Policy C021. Enhanced float regulations, standards and guidelines and equestrian regulations were added to the policy, which governs all parades held in town.
Council received a briefing on the first year’s progress of the Recreation Programs and Services Master Plan. The final draft of the plan was accepted by council March 9, 2015, and since then, staff have been working on three themes: increasing involvement, enhancing access and strengthening capacity.