Hello everyone:

Welcome back to the deep freeze!  Just imagine all those mountain pine beetles feeling cold and unhappy -- it makes these frosty mornings worthwhile.

Before I tell you about tomorrow's Council highlights, I just want to invite you to participate in or be a spectator at the annual Jon Whyte Memorial Spelling Bee and Trivia Challenge, taking place at the Whyte Museum this Tuesday (January 27) from 7 - 9 pm.  Put together a team of six keeners and call Tanya Bouchard at the Museum to register, or just come along on the night and pit your wits against the questions while sitting in the audience.  It's fun, and a great way to remember the poet laureate of Banff.


Recreation Centre update

You can see the whole report by clicking on:


and scrolling down to page 21.

I am really pleased with the track that this project is now on.  If the environmental assessment comes out OK, the town will be going ahead with the refurbishing of the existing arena (which has been certified as structurally sound and worth saving), and replacing the 4 curling sheets, lobby and dressing rooms with new construction.  The possibility exists to include a second hockey rink within the project, depending on funding.  Staff have been working very hard on funding applications for this project, and continue to do so, with the result that borrowing will be kept to the lowest possible level.  The building is being planned so that it could be added to in future, if townspeople want the additional facilities (gymnasium, leisure pool etc.) and can afford to build and operate them.

FCSS Strategic Plan update

If you click on


and then scroll down to page 30, you can see the outcomes that Banff Family and Community Support Services is working towards, and what programs they have in place to meet those outcomes.  It's an impressive list!  Reading it will give you an idea of the wide range of programs available, and you may be able to pass that information on to someone who needs help.

Hello everyone:

I hope you're all enjoying the fabulous snow, and that you had a great holiday season.  The first Council meeting of 2009 is happening tomorrow, and it looks like a fairly light agenda.  Here are some of the highlights:


Discover Banff Tours is coming to Council to ask for an opportunity to acquire 15 taxi licenses.  The present bylaw limits the number of taxi licenses that are available at any one time -- this is common in most municipalities.  Discover Banff is making the point that most of the existing licenses are under the control of one group of companies, and they are suggesting that additional competition might be warranted.  You can read their letter at


by scrolling down to page 8.


During budget discussions, it was suggested that hiring summer students in the bylaw enforcement group actually pays for itself through additional fine revenue.  Council encouraged the bylaw folks to show us the numbers, and so this background information is coming to council tomorrow.  Looking at the numbers presented for the years 2000 through 2008 (you can see them by clicking on http://www.banff.ca/AssetFactory.aspx?did=1832 and scrolling down to page 15), I'm having a hard time seeing the correlation between summer students and revenue, but I'm looking forward to hearing an explanation at the meeting. 

Many of you have mentioned a wish for more enforcement of regulations re skateboarding and bike riding on the sidewalks, and I'd like to see more bylaw staff out there to make that happen -- if we can balance the budget at the same time.


The minutes of this committee, which you can see by clicking on http://www.banff.ca/AssetFactory.aspx?did=1832 and scrolling down to page 31, provide some insight into how much effort this volunteer committee puts into finding and publicizing the right public art for Banff.  Council is also being asked to appoint a new member to the committee.


Since the beginning of the Coop -- located on the edge of the Rec grounds -- the Town of Banff has provided a loan guarantee in order to help the Coop access a more favourable interest rate.  The present loan guarantee runs out in May, and the RMCHA is asking Council to extend the loan guarantee once again.  This doesn't actually cost the Town money, but it does diminish our "borrowing room" -- the amount of borrowing we would be allowed to do for other projects.  You can read about this here:  http://www.banff.ca/AssetFactory.aspx?did=1832 by scrolling down to page 38.


Council is also being asked to update the Bylaw Officers Bylaw to bring it into compliance with new provincial requirements, to pass the annual borrowing bylaw, and to update cemetery, fire protection and off-site levy fees.


Just a reminder that if you need to Town to fix something or look at a problem in your neighbourhood, the best way to do this is to put in an Action Request.  Go to www.banff.ca and look at the top of the page - in the black-and-white strip across the top, you will see "Action Request".  Click on that and fill out the brief form.  I have used this method a few times and find that it works really well!


Any opinions expressed in this update are mine, not those of the Town of Banff or Banff Town Council.  Any errors in fact are my fault, not theirs.