People keep asking me what's in the "silver option" for the Rec Centre, or telling me that they've heard different things.  For those of you that don't have time for clicking through and waiting for the PDF to load, here is the list from the Town's website: 


  • 2 ice surfaces
  • a community gym
  • leisure pool
  • multi-purpose rooms
  • walking track
  • fitness and wellness facilities

Not included:

  • curling sheets 

The capital cost is shown as 67.8 million, and the annual operating deficit at $925k.  If we take on 25 million in debt (that assumes we can find funding for 42.8 million), then the annual additional taxes to an average household (defined as an assessed value of $485K) are shown as $357, and $13,149 to an average commercial property (defined as an assessed value of $4.1 million).  The cost estimated for an annual membership to the new Rec Centre is shown as $639 for an individual, $1004 for a family.

The complete backgrounder can be seen at: 

Hello everyone:


As part of my interest in matters financial, I’ve been looking at the town’s purchasing policy, and comparing practice with policy.  For those of you who are interested in that kind of thing, you can see the town’s purchasing policy here:

If you have any questions about it, I’d be happy to try to find answers for you!


It looks like a pretty quiet Council meeting coming up tomorrow.  Here are some items on the agenda:


By clicking here:

and scrolling down to page 9, you can read the report on what’s happening with the Recreation Centre project.  In brief:

·         a structural engineering report is underway, as is a design options/costs/phasing report, showing the opportunities for redevelopment and/or expansion.  We should see these back to Council in September 2008.

·         The Town is looking into the potential of acquiring more land around the existing rec centre from Parks Canada or CP, if this land should turn out to be needed.

·         The staff is applying for all applicable government grant programs and is working with the Banff Recreation Society on how to organize work around a funding strategy and capital campaign.  The Banff Recreation Society is a group of private citizens interested in making the project happen.

By the way, if you read that report, you will read the words “The Recreation Multiplex has been identified as both a Council and Administration priority for 2008”.  I’d just like to point out here that what Council identified as a priority was “ Recreation Centre Feasibility”.


If you’re interested in this project, it’s important for you to know that many council members and the staff are operating on the assumption that the community has already chosen the Silver option for the Rec Centre, which will cost approximately $67 million dollars to build, and around $900K per year to operate.  You can see more details on this project at:

As you probably know from the campaign, it is my personal opinion that we cannot afford to build or to operate a project with this cost level, although I definitely support a major renovation of the existing centre.  I am looking forward with interest to the engineering reports, to see what is possible.

If it looks as if we will be pushing ahead with the Silver option, I hope that more than 284 members of the community (that’s the number of people who provided input into the Silver option choice) will step up and have their say. 


A short report on the events of the 2007 Festival can bee seen by clicking on

and scrolling down to page 11.  It appears that both organizers and participants are happy with the present locals-oriented focus of the event.  Congratulations to all the volunteer organizers – it was a lot of fun, as always!


You will probably have already seen in the paper the news that the Library has received a settlement of around $82,000 from Marigold, acknowledging Banff’s share in the joint assets.  This is great news for the library, as they’ve just spent a substantial amount on the new shelving, and this money will top up their funds.  Huge kudos to the library board, and to former councillor Justin Burwash, who represented them very ably in the negotiations with Marigold.


There will be delegations re Three Ski Areas Community Funding, and Ambulance Services, but there are no written reports in the package, so I’ll have to tell you about those later.


It’s important to note that these council updates represent my personal opinion, and may not reflect the official position of the Town of Banff or Banff Town Council. 

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Warm best wishes to you all – enjoy this lovely sunny day!  Leslie

Unfortunately, one of my earlier posts has received more than 150 spam "comments" in the past 48 hours.  I'm trying to fix this problem by deleting the post and reproducing it here to keep the record complete.  We'll see if that works.

This is a post from just before the election, re going door to door on Beaver and Muskrat:

It was a glorious day for a walk yesterday.  I visited Beaver Street, most of Muskrat and a bit of Moose.

 It was also a great day for conversations! 

During the campaign, there has been some discussion about permanently pedestrianizing the 100 and 200 blocks of Banff Avenue.  Although — of course — I love the idea of pedestrian spaces, I’ve been concerned about what such a choice might do to the folks who live along Beaver Street.  This summer was a trial run of what their traffic would be like, so I had a chance to ask whether it has affected their lives.  The answer was a resounding yes.  One person told me that he was happy to put up with it for a summer for the good of Banff Avenue, but permanently — definitely not.  Even on Muskrat Street, it was possible to observe an increase in the amount and speed of traffic, as impatient drivers looked for a way around downtown.

Perhaps the best solution would be to close Banff Ave a few times a year for special events.  I also think that we will be amazed by how different the pedestrian experience will be there when the new sidewalks are opened up.

One question that arose today was about the design of the traffic light standards — and whether they might be a bit too “ladder-like”, encouraging drunken climbing contests. 

Other topics today: the rec centre, street maintenance and line painting, train whistles, debt, and affordable housing.