Mick Daly
Eagle

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May 2, 2012
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Grow or die

I live and vote in Eagle. My wife and I moved here because we saw Eagle becoming a truly healthy, vibrant community. Today, that prospect is endangered unless we take positive action.

Grow or die: Over time, communities, towns and cities grow and continue to grow. Or they grow, then stop growing and eventually die. There is usually no rebirth. Look at all the ghost towns in Colorado. Community growth is not just about population and dollars. There are other equally important aspects of healthy growth, but those are harder to measure. However, the fact is that without people and money, no community can survive.

Successful cities and towns have strong employment and retail bases because retail produces sales tax and sales tax provides for the infrastructure that keeps communities healthy.

Our communities in the Eagle Valley are disproportionately dependent on sales tax revenues for their survival and will continue to be for a long time because revenues from new construction will not return to pre-recession levels any time soon.

The survival of the town of Eagle depends almost entirely on sales tax revenues. The 2012 budget is $5.4 million, half of this coming from sales tax (down almost $1 million in three years).

Eagle has a history of being less than business friendly. That's why Eagle River Station was voted down last time; why Costco is in Gypsum (not Eagle); and why City Market might be looking in the same direction.

The impact of the recession and need for increased revenues has made the proposed Eagle River Station development a hot and hotter topic for several years.

Based on conservative, expert estimates, the town of Eagle will potentially receive approximately $2.3 million in sales tax revenue from the first phase of Eagle River Station. This looks likely to increase to over $3 million after project completion.

The town also stands to receive about $700,000 over the construction life of the project from permits and other fees. These numbers do not include the human and financial benefits from many hundreds of new jobs that will result from Eagle River Station.

I understand some of the objections of those who voted no last time around. I would just ask them to consider the consequences of another no vote on May 22 - a town of Eagle destined to decay and die because it cannot grow and sustain life as we know it.

To those who would have supported it last time, but didn't - please, on May 22 or in the mail-in ballot: Vote yes for ERS.


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The VailDaily Updated May 2, 2012 01:04PM Published May 2, 2012 01:03PM Copyright 2012 The VailDaily. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.