Vail Daily letters to the editor
Ryan Summerlin October 15, 2012
Fire tax clarifications
You recently received a pro/con statement in the mail regarding ballot initiative 5A, the 3.77 mill levy that Eagle River Fire Protection District has on the ballot this November. The clerk and recorder is required to send this notice to all registered electors in the Eagle River Fire’s service area.
If you received this notice, you are eligible to vote for this mill levy. If this surprises you, understand that Eagle River Fire Protection District provides service to a very large area, which stretches from Tennessee Pass through Minturn, west of Dowd Junction, all the way to Wolcott. The Vail Fire Department is entirely funded by the town of Vail and is not included within the boundaries of Eagle River Fire.
The summary you received in the mail included a pro statement, which was compiled by the Citizens Campaign for 5A, a local group that supports the Eagle River Fire Protection District, its mill levy, and the continued protection of everyone within Eagle River Fire’s service area. The figures, amounts, and information included in the pro statement were carefully checked prior to sending this statement to the clerk and recorder.
The con statement contained a number of inaccuracies, and we aim to correct those, as follows:
— As property values increase, the 3.77 mill levy would ratchet down proportionally. The district could not utilize the mill levy to collect taxes in excess of 2010 levels. This is guaranteed, contrary to what the con statement says.
— There are nine stations within the Eagle River Fire Protection District ‘s service area, four of which are currently operational: Minturn, Avon, Edwards, Cordillera. Eagle River Fire Protection District firefighters also staff a fifth station in Beaver Creek via a contractual agreement, although this station is located outside of the district’s boundaries. The Eagle River Fire Protection District did not build any of the nine stations within its service area. They were deeded to the Eagle River Fire Protection District, leased for a minimal amount of money, or built by the specific community in which they are located.
— Eagle River Fire’s current mill levy is 5.550. The district was allowed by the state to levy a one-time additional 0.10 mill in order to offset abatements and refunds taken from the district’s property tax revenues in 2011.
If you have further questions regarding the pro or con statements, please contact the Citizens Campaign for 5A, visit www.erfpdvoteyes.com or call 970.306.7444 to speak with an Eagle River Fire Protection District Board member.
Eagle River Fire Protection District Board of Directors
and Citizens Campaign for 5A
Please consider my endorsement for Jeff Layman in the upcoming election for County Commissioner. I have known Jeff on two totally different platforms, both of which are accretive to his election: 1. Jeff’s impressive resume in law enforcement. A former Avon police chief and county undersheriff, Jeff has served the public for well over a decade. 2. Athletics. There are few countywide officials who have the breadth of experience biking, swimming, running, skiing and utilizing the outdoors in Eagle County.
The value of Jeff’s law enforcement portfolio should be clear. Not only has it familiarized Jeff with the laws and legal procedures of our jurisdiction, but he is attuned to the political inter-workings as well. These attributes are obvious.
Not so obvious is the importance of Jeff’s aforementioned athletic interests. Eagle County is disproportionately populated with those of us who are interested in outdoor physical activities. Therefore, it makes all the more sense that we should be represented by someone who shares those interests and concerns. Jeff’s athletic resume is an impressive example of someone to whom those interests are important.
A vote for Jeff for commissioner would be in all of our best interests.