Eagle Mayor Yuri Kostick spoke before Gypsum Town Council members at their meeting Tuesday to start new discussions about Gypsum's decision to end the Costco sales tax revenue sharing agreement with Eagle at the end of the year.
"I want to open a new chapter with the town of Gypsum," Kostick said Tuesday. "I was going to bring an olive branch but I didn't know where to get one."
Gypsum officials notified Eagle of their decision to end the revenue sharing agreement with a letter June 14. As Gypsum council members emphasized to Kostick Tuesday, the letter expressed frustration with Eagle's participation in a partnership between the towns, citing a lack of willingness to meet.
"Gypsum has ... made several requests for additional meetings over the past several years, the most recent in the month prior to the [Eagle River Station] vote, to re-open discussions of the revenue-sharing agreement to perhaps include a better than 60/40 split and expand the territory to include a greater area than what is currently encompassed around Costco," the Gypsum letter states.
"The concept has always been a percentage of something for either community is better than 100 percent of nothing. The town of Gypsum has even entered into some very preliminary conversations with the Colorado Municipal League for direction that would make the revenue-sharing agreement more permanent in nature and thus more reliable. However, with two rounds of intense campaigning for ERS approvals, those talks and discussions never seemed to rise to any level of priority."
On Tuesday, Kostick argued that Eagle officials were not ignoring Gypsum's desire to meet - they merely wanted to wait until the chaos of the ERS election was over.
"We had discussed meeting and our board thought it would be better to wait until we knew the outcome," he said. "Our intention had always been to open up an invitation to meet and talk to you guys."
He went on to say that Eagle officials are interested in opening a new round of dialogue with Gypsum. Gypsum council members said that would be great so long as all Eagle Town Board members are present.
"You have an uphill battle on that," said Gypsum Mayor Steve Carver. "Some of your board members might not be as willing as you to meet with us."
The Gypsum council agreed with Kostick that drafting a meeting agenda would be a good first step in order to keep future talks on point.
"There will definitely be some laundry aired," Carver said. "It might be best to hold several shorter meetings rather than one long one in which we get tired and cranky. But if we're going to hold a meeting, we're all going to be there and I would definitely appreciate all of your council being there."
Kostick acknowledged that there might be "some bad blood" for some board members when it comes to Gypsum and that it's time to move forward.
"I got consensus from my board to say, 'Hey, we do want to meet and we would like to review revenue sharing,'" he said, shaking hands with Carver.