The Town of Banff is bracing itself for possible flooding in the event of abnormal run-off this spring due to heavy snowfall in the mountains.
Town officials say they have been hauling large concrete blocks this past week to the Luxton Museum on the south side of the Bow River, where the waters typically burst their banks first.
As well, they say, they plan to build a berm along Bow Avenue, using filter fabric and not concrete blocks, to protect the road and residential homes in that low-lying area.
“In theory, we shouldn’t have to shut the road down, other than to build the berm,” said Les Irvine, Banff’s public works supervisor. “To the best of my knowledge, we’re in pretty good condition.”
The Town does have a flood plan, which includes a communications strategy on how they would get word out to the public should there be a flood threat.
Banff council has asked administration to bring forward a report on the costs of installing ashtrays in the downtown core following a build-up of cigarette butts.
At a meeting on Monday (April 11), concerns were raised that despite a provincial regulation that bans smoking in public places, there’s no way of enforcing that as people walk along Banff Avenue and toss their butts.
“Installing these might help improve some of the irresponsible disposal of cigarette butts in the downtown core,” said Councillor Stavros Karlos.
“We’re in a national park – don’t flick your cigarette butts.”
Councillor Karlos is also taking aim at irresponsible dog owners who are letting their dogs poop in the forested areas by residential neighbourhoods on the outskirts of town.
He said several residents have brought the issue to him, particularly those in the Marmot Crescent area.
“Since undergoing some forest thinning around town, they’re being used as de-facto off-leash dog parks,” he said. “It’s not cool.”
On April 11, Banff council unanimously approved a policy that sets out the rules for mayor and councillors receiving gifts in a bid to avoid any allegations of ethical conflict or poor political judgment.
In a nutshell, the new policy says gifts must never be received in exchange for favours or special treatment.
As well, it says that when gifts or mementos are given for the purposes of business, councillors must declare anything worth more than $25 and return anything over $250.
If a gift were valued between $100 and $250, it would require a declaration, but also be the property of the municipality, not the individual councillor.