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November 7, 2013
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Vail Town Council slogs through master plan for Ford Park again

Government Tracker: Vail Town Council, Nov. 5.

Present: Kevin Foley, Susie Tjossem, Ludwig Kurz, Margaret Rogers, Greg Moffet, Kerry Donovan, Mayor Andy Daly.

Issue: Foley and Donovan’s last meeting.

What happened? Daly presented both council members with plaques commemorating their service — 14 years overall for Foley, four for Donovan — and everyone said nice things.

Donovan said “It’s been a pleasure and an honor” to serve on council. Foley thanked the community for supporting him over several terms on council.

In his remarks, Daly praised Donovan, saying her example should encourage other younger Vail residents to give their time to civic service.

“If anybody has exemplified what community service really looks like, it’s Kevin,” Daly said. “You’ve set a wonderful example.”

What’s next? New council members Jenn Bruno, Dave Chapin and Dale Bugby, along with returning incumbent Greg Moffet, will be sworn in Nov. 12. The next council meeting is Nov. 19.

Issue: Discussion of the Ford Park master plan.

Who they talked to: Vail Community Development Director George Ruther, consultant Tom Braun and Betty Ford Alpine Gardens Executive Director Nicola Ripley.

What they talked about: After pulling the plug in March on previously approved plans for the Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater, the council decided it town needed to re-do the “master plan” — a document that guides land use, management and future development. That process has mostly been done by staff and consultants, with input from the council.

Tuesday the council got its first look at the completed document and took on a page-by-page review, adding minor items, taking others out and gradually grinding toward a plan that can be voted on.

That long review meant the council didn’t vote on the plan Tuesday as scheduled, prompting Ripley to plead for a quick resolution.

The plan has delayed the Alpine Gardens’ plan for a new educational center in Ford Park, primarily because of uncertainty about the location and size of the center.

Current thinking has put the most likely site along West Betty Ford Way, roughly east of the gardens and on the north side of the mostly-pedestrian path.

“I don’t know whether to scream or cry or both,” Ripley said. “I don’t know how long we can extend our resources.”

Council members pledged a sincere effort to have the plan ready for approval at the Nov. 19 meeting.

What’s next? We’ll see Nov. 19.

Issue: Simba Run underpass update.

Who they talked to: Tom Kassmel, of the town’s engineering department.

What they talked about: Kassmel told council members about progress on the project, which was recently accelerated when the Colorado Department of Transportation put the project into its latest round of funding.

The project is supposed to be finished by the end of 2017, Kassmel said, and a lot more planning and study has to be done before the machines roll.

Issue: Appointing a new member to the town’s Local Licensing Authority. Tom Scola was the only applicant and was appointed unanimously.


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The VailDaily Updated Nov 7, 2013 09:49PM Published Nov 7, 2013 07:45PM Copyright 2013 The VailDaily. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.