Hello everyone:

What an amazing weekend this has been!  The weather was so fabulous, and it was fun to see all the WorldSkills groups in town.


Tomorrow is a light council meeting, with a Banff Housing Corporation shareholders' meeting to follow.

You will find the overall council package at this link:


Banff Community Foundation

The Foundation's Executive Director will be giving council an update on the activities of this important community organization.

Banff Sports Hall of Fame

Mark Starratt will talk to Council about the opportunities this organization sees in the upcoming Olympic year of 2010.

Urban Forest management plan

On page 27 of the council package, you'll see a report to council on the activities undertaken by the UFMP group this season.  Work in 2009 included specialist canopy pruning, removal of diseased or hazardous trees, and the planting, protecting and maintenance of approximately 150 trees and approximately 150 shrubs in 12 pods around town.

Olympic Torch relay celebration

Mayor Stutz has been working with a committee of enthusiastic folks on the celebrations that will take place as the Olympic torch is carried through Banff.  There are few details of programming, etc, to be made public at this time, but the report explains that the $40,000 budget of the event will come from federal and provincial grant programs, and from "residual funds from the Special Events corporation".  The report can be seen on page 30 of the council package.

Brochure release:  Walking through Banff's Nature

On page 33 of the council package is a brief report on this new brochure, which highlights the natural history of Banff.  7000 copies have been printed.

Banff Housing Corporation

You can see the BHC package at this link:


The big agenda item is a proposal for the BHC to acquire ten apartment-style condos in Peyto Place, and to include them in the BHC portfolio as home ownership, price-restricted units.  This would help the BHC towards balancing its portfolio of housing types, and allow them to offer some units that may appeal to a different type of homeowner than those in the previous developments. 

In order for this to go forward, the Town would have to guarantee the loan to the BHC, and would have to support the request to dedicate the 2007 and 2008 Affordable Housing Program provincial grant money to this project, rather than to one on Cave Avenue.


Next council meeting (September 14) is an evening meeting.  As you may remember, council decided to try three evening meetings this year, to try to make it easier for some members of the public who cannot attend council during the day.  If you want to know how a council meeting works (maybe you're thinking of running for council in 2010!), this is your opportunity.

Hi everyone:

I hope you took the opportunity to enjoy Doors Open Banff today.  I was being a tour guide in a beautiful heritage home, and got to show 129 interested folks around.  It was great -- what a super chance to enjoy Banff's history!

HAVE YOUR SAY re the Park Management Plan

It turns out that the chance for input to the Banff National Park Management Plan is still available.  It's a bit of a hassle to master the input website, but there are many interesting background information sheets available on the Park website:  http://www.pc.gc.ca/pn-np/ab/banff/plan/plan5_e.asp#help  as well as information on how to get signed in so that you can comment.


You can see the overall council package by clicking on this link:


Quarterly update on staff work

Every meeting, there is an update on what is happening on council's key priorities, but once a quarter, there is also an update on the more extensive list of initiatives that staff are working on.  This is one of those times -- you can see the update by clicking on the package link and scrolling to page 11.  This will let you know which projects are moving ahead and which have stalled, and give you a sense of what work will be done in the next few months.

Pedestrian Bridge

The pedestrian bridge proposal is coming back to council for two reasons:  construction prices have dropped somewhat, and administration hopes to acquire a grant of $850,000 to support the project.  Council is being asked to award the tender for construction in the amount of 2.55 million, contingent on receiving the grant.  This includes the design money ($425K) which has already been spent.

 In this scenario, the remaining money required would come from the following sources:

  • $174K from donations
  • $850K from the Recreational Infrastructure Canada grant program
  • $900K borrowed dollars (this borrowing bylaw has already been passed by Council)

This bridge would definitely provide a good link between downtown, the rec grounds and Cave Avenue.  However, I continue to believe that it is in the wrong location to accomplish the larger objective of encouraging pedestrian and bike travel from the south side of the bridge.  The majority of people will hit the present bridge before arriving at the new bridge -- it is not human nature to bypass the existing crossing and go a few hundred yards out of your way to cross by the new one.

I am also very concerned about the amount of encroachment into Central Park.  The park has already suffered a lot in the last few years, with the massive loss of trees, and now the approach to the bridge will cut almost a third of the way into the park, and a trail will diagonally cross the park to reach the bridge.  The bridge approaches will substantially impact the riverside trail.  You can see the proposed layout be going to this link:


and scrolling to page 55.

For the above reasons, unless I learn something earth-shattering tomorrow in the meeting, I do not expect to support this recommendation.

Second quarter financial results and forecast to the end of 2009

Starting on page 58, the package includes results to June 30, and expectations for the remainder of the year.  The present information is a forecasted surplus of $123K.  This surplus will help rebuild the town's budget stabilization fund, decimated by last year's results.

I have many questions to ask about the details of the forecast and results.  It's important to remember that a lot of our activity takes place in July and August, so 3rd quarter results will be more accurate in predicting year-end.


Council will also be meeting as BHC shareholders to review the reports provided by administration on "equity creep" and administrative fees.  You can see the package for this meeting at this link: