AVON — As the calendar pages turned on finishing a settlement in a legal dispute between the town of Avon and the developers of the Village at Avon, the street linking the valley’s main east-west roads to the stores there looked ever-more like a road into a ghost town. That’s going to change starting Monday.
After years of back-and-forth in the previous decade, the town and Traer Creek Metropolitan District — which manages the project and issued the bond debt to build it — sued each other in 2008. With the clock ticking down toward a trial, the parties in October of 2011 announced they had agreed to a settlement. Working out the details of that settlement took more than a year. As part of the deal, the town agreed to take over road maintenance and landscaping along Post Boulevard.
The town started planning to take over work on the landscaping. The street’s five roundabouts were choked with weeds, watering had stopped and weeds and aspen-tree offshoots — from the trees still living — started to choke the roundabouts.
Town crews in the spring of 2013 cleaned out the weeds, and got ready to start the bigger project. And the Eagle-Vail Metropolitan District weeded the roundabout at the intersection of Post and U.S. Highway 6, since that’s the western entry to that neighborhood.
But finishing the settlement has dragged on. Avon Town Manager Virginia Egger said all the details between the town and Traer Creek have been finished, with just a few details remaining between Traer Creek and its bond holders to finish a refinancing agreement that will allow the district to resume development. Egger said that deal is supposed to be signed Friday.
PAYING FOR IMPROVEMENTS
Regardless of what happens, though, the town will start work Monday on Post Boulevard. The project, approved earlier this month by the Avon Town Council, has a budget of $315,000. That money was raised since November of 2013, when Village at Avon retailers started assessing a .75 percent sales fee — essentially an addition to the project’s sales tax. Money collected from that fee will pay for the landscaping renovation project.
The fee will also pay to replace bulbs in the streetlights along Post Boulevard. Most of those lights aren’t working at the moment.
In addition to the landscaping and other work, Egger said the town is also working with the Colorado Department of Transportation on the Post Boulevard/Highway 6 roundabout. That roundabout was the site of two accidents on a recent Saturday night when drivers failed to negotiated the roundabout’s curves.
Egger said the town and the state agency will investigate how better signs and, perhaps, lower speed limits at the roundabout’s east and west entries, might help slow traffic through the roundabout.
All of this is good news to Eagle-Vail residents. During the settlement discussions in 2011 and 2012, Eagle-Vail residents more than once asked town officials to clean up Post Boulevard, and particularly the Highway 6 roundabout.
As landscaping planning continued during the past couple of years, town officials kept people informed at the Eagle-Vail Metropolitan District — which serves as the government for the neighborhood.
Jeff Layman, Eagle-Vail’s district director, said he’s impressed with the plans he’s seen.
“We’re looking forward to seeing the work start,” Layman said.
And Egger said with the legal details dispatched, it’s now time to get to work on Post Boulevard.
“It’s in our town,” she said. “We need to properly light it.”
Vail Daily Business Editor Scott Miller can be reached at 970-748-2930, email@example.com and on Twitter @scottnmiller.