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November 28, 2012
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Government Tracker: Avon council swears in new members

Board: Avon Town Council, Nov. 27 regular meeting.

Present: Dave Dantas, Todd Goulding, Amy Phillips, Kristi Ferraro, Rich Carroll, Chris Evans, Buz Reynolds, Jake Wolf, Jennie Fancher.

Issue: Sending out and swearing in.

What they did: It was the last meeting for Phillips and Ferraro, both of whom were at the end of their two-term (eight-year) stints on council. The council passed a pair of resolutions thanking the two for their work over the past eight years. The council also heard from former mayor Ron Wolfe about Ferraro and Phillips, and read into the record an email from former council member Brian Sipes.

"I can't believe how fast (the time) has gone," Carroll said. "I've learned so much from both of you."

After the resolutions were passed, town judge Buck Allen swore in Reynolds for a second term, and Fancher and Wolf for their first terms on council.

What's next: Lots of homework for the new members.

Issue: First reading of an ordinance changing the town's real estate transfer tax.

How they voted: Yes: Reynolds, Fancher, Evans, Carroll, Dantas, Goulding. No: Wolf.

What they talked about: The ordinance, at least in its current form, changes the way the town assesses its 2 percent real estate transfer tax on long-term leases. Town code currently requires any business leasing property for 25 years or more to pay that tax. But town attorney Eric Heide said the town had never collected the tax.

Why is this important? The issue came up during the settlement negotiations with the developers of The Village at Avon, since both Wal-Mart and Home Depot are signed to long-term leases.

The current revision essentially removes the tax requirement from any business in town now working with long-term leases, but imposes the payment on any future business.

Council members said they might prefer to see the town do away altogether with the tax on long-term leases, but passed the ordinance on first reading to help close out the settlement between the town and developers.

What's next? Second, and final, reading is set for Dec. 11.

- Scott N. Miller


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The VailDaily Updated Nov 28, 2012 10:24PM Published Nov 28, 2012 10:23PM Copyright 2012 The VailDaily. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.