Net revenue

Paid parking in Banff generates net revenue of $162,000

The Town of Banff says the paid visitor parking and residential parking permit system has achieved its goals by filling the station interceptor lot, freeing up parking spaces in residential areas and downtown and leaving free time for residents to run errands

BANFF — Banff’s elected officials will likely use net revenue from paid visitor parking to help with fiscal stabilization and economic recovery as the hard-hit tourist town battles its way out of the COVID-19 pandemic.

At a Nov. 8 meeting, Banff’s Governance and Finance Committee asked the administration to return at a future board meeting with changes to the paid parking reservation policy – which states how the benefits of the paid parking are spent – to allow this.

Councilor Barb Pelham supported the spirit of the discussion, noting that her support is not just a method to help businesses, but to help residents given a planned shift in taxation between the residential and commercial sectors. .

“This is to protect residents and other small businesses from a huge tax increase to fill a hole that will be left by the drop in hotel revenues due to COVID, which results in lower taxes paid by hotels,” said she declared.

After nearly two decades of debate and two plebiscites later, the Town of Banff introduced paid visitor parking downtown in early July of this year. It costs $3 per hour to park from May 1 to October 31 and drops to $2 per hour throughout the winter.

Banff residents who have a parking permit can park for free for up to three hours a day in the paid zone if they have registered their license plates with the municipality.

Gross revenue for 2021 is estimated at $1.3 million, but net revenue will be approximately $162,000 given the high start-up costs to operate the paid parking and residence permit system for visitors, including capital expenditure to provide electricity, concrete bases, machinery and signage.

Operating expenses are estimated at $382,260 for this year, while capital costs are expected to be $755,000.

Future pay parking benefits are estimated at $1.58 million in 2022, $1.75 million in 2023, and $1.82 million in 2024.

Currently, Banff’s Paid Parking Reserve Policy dictates where net revenue from paid parking should go.

The old board directed profits to fund operating or capital costs related to road and parking improvements, transit improvements, increased snow removal, cycling, or other community initiatives. active transportation and transportation decarbonization projects.

Newly elected councilor Hugh Pettigrew failed to convince his fellow councilors to agree to 100% of net revenues being earmarked for fiscal stabilization.

“I want to temporarily direct visitor paid parking net revenue 100% towards budget stabilization until we feel the economic crisis is over,” he said, noting that the council should not fund other initiatives listed in the paid parking reserve fund at this stage. indicate.

“My preference would be…that we allocate those funds to tax stabilization so that the board has flexibility to withdraw them to address any issues we may see with the upcoming tax rate.”

However, most of the other advisers preferred to have more flexibility in the upcoming service review and 2022 budget deliberations, simply adding fiscal stabilization and economic recovery as options in the reserve policy.

“It’s not saying 100% of net revenue from paid parking wouldn’t go to tax stabilization, but it could be a different amount,” Coun said. Chip Oliver.

“I think we need to dig deeper into the services review, dig deeper into our budget process, and then look at how much goes where.”

Administrative officials say the paid visitor parking and residential parking permit system have achieved their goals by filling the station’s interception lot, freeing up parking spaces in residential and downtown areas and by giving residents free time to run errands.

Adrian Field, engineering manager for the Town of Banff, said the peak occupancy of the interceptor parking lot of about 500 spaces at the station met the city’s strategic plan goal of more than 80 %.

While moving visitors from residential areas to intercept parking is one of the goals, he said a negative consequence is that visitor parking options are more limited when the intercepting ground, downtown and the peripheral parking spaces are full.

“In order to accommodate future visitor volumes, a continued shift to public transit – ideally from Calgary – will be required,” Field said.

Summer 2021 vehicle volumes were up 15% from 2020, but were 18% below pre-pandemic levels in 2019.

There were 16 days this summer when Banff’s congestion threshold of 24,000 vehicles per day was exceeded, compared to one day in 2020 and the 62 days in summer 2019. The maximum daily volume in 2021 was 30,053 .

“Despite the lack of international travel for most of the summer, Banff experienced higher traffic volumes compared to 2020 and higher parking demand,” Field said.

“In addition to the resumption of visits and the accompanying increase in vehicle volume in the coming years, traffic congestion and delays in travel times can be expected,” he said. he adds.

“Ongoing proactive development and deployment of strategies and tactics to manage traffic volume will be required.”

Administration will return in the fall of 2022 with a report on the paid visitor and residential parking permit system after a full year of operation, including any recommendations for potential changes for consideration by council.