Banff Marathon event director Paul Regensburg spoke to council as a delegation, giving an overview of the 2016 event that took place in June. Participants from the event came from 23 countries, 32 US states, 11 provinces and 110 communities in Alberta. The average participant stayed 2.9 nights bringing an additional 2.7 people with them. According to the report, the event generated $4.65 million in direct trip spending by participants and $6.35 million in overall economic impact. The event also achieved 98.6% waste diversion through their green initiatives.
Council directed administration to provide the Bow Valley Regional Transit Services Commission with a series of comments regarding their 2017-2019 budget. The comments highlight expectations for performance indicators to form part of the budget, disappointment the work to consider route optimization in Banff was not started in a timely enough fashion to allow it to form part of the 2017-2019 budget consideration, a request the budget include options for the funding of enhanced services (with and without successful capital grants), a request to see focused attention and specific tactics taken to reverse the slide of a forecasted revenue fall, concern over climbing administrative costs, and concern over the lack of detail in the capital budget. Comments will be forwarded to the Bow Valley Regional Transit Services Commission, which is scheduled to approve its budget on November 3.
A report exploring the formation of an off-leash dog park society was accepted as information by council with no further action. Council had request a report during the 2016 service review to investigate whether forming a society to maintain the dog park would be beneficial. A survey of other Alberta communities showed almost all places with a dog park are maintained by the municipality, and in instances where a society was running them, they still had some level of municipal involvement.
Council accepted the Records Program Assessment and Information Governance Master Plan as a guiding document for planning purposes. The plan provides a roadmap for the Town to implement a modern electronic record-keeping system. Because full implementation of the plan will require funding, administration will return during service review with a budget request for the project.
Results of the Long-Term Transportation Study survey were presented to council. There were 448 survey responses during the month-long ‘virtual’ open house at banffonthemove.com. Council also adopted the study and appended the survey comments as a guide to help inform decisions on long-term transportation in Banff. During the upcoming service review, council will be presented with options for the next steps in developing plans for mass transit and in identifying land for potential intercept parking lots. Survey results indicated a public lack of support for, and administration does not recommend, any further action on developing the road bypass option.
A summer 2016 transportation overview was presented to council, showing actions taken to alleviate traffic congestion and parking shortfall. In 2016, a number of new private and public initiatives to help minimize congestion delays and maximize parking stall availability were carried out, like 12-hour parking at the train station and a revised Roam Route 4. From January 1 to September 30, the cumulative total vehicle per day (VPD) count increased by 8% from 4.7 million in 2015 to 5.1 million in 2016. For July and August the total VPD increased by 7% from $1.5 million in 2015 to 1.6 million in 2016 and 49 out of the 62 days (79%) in July and August were over the congestion threshold of 24,000 VPD – an increase of 20 days (69%) from the 29 days recorded in 2015. Despite this, delays were kept down. Northbound in July & August, there were 12 days with delays greater than 15 minutes, with afternoon rain being a factor in six of those days. This year had one day with a delay greater than 30 minutes, the same as 2015. Southbound during the same time period, there were no days with delays greater than 15 minutes, versus four days in 2014 and 2015. The parking shortfall meanwhile decreased from a deficiency of one to a surplus of 62. The full overview is available at http://banff.ca/transportationplan.
The annual organizational meeting of council was held following the regular meeting. Dates for council meetings in 2017 were set, as well as committee appointments.