Vail Daily column: Eagle’s worthwhile investment
March 31, 2016
The voters in Eagle should go bold, if passing a sliver of sales tax to fix the river constitutes boldness.
Just get it done. Build the riverside park where a dirt lot strewn with "trucker bombs" with a chain-link fence holding back plastic bags as well as people from the water now exists.
Golden, Buena Vista, Salida, even Vail all show the way.
Enough with the penny-pinching talk. If citizens were going to donate, volunteer, win grants on their own to get started, this would have happened a decade ago. The town has master planned, advocates dreamed and citizens basically ignored the whole thing forever.
The private property along the Eagle River is not going to be confiscated, only become more valuable to the owners. U.S. Highway 6 is not going to become a superhighway, and so what if it did?
There's so much hooey in arguments against passing a tiny tax to finally get started with taking proper care of the river passing through town. It tells me there is no good argument against it, unless you think the cost of a cup of a Starbucks coffee over the course of a month is just too much to improve the river environmentally and be able to harness it economically, as well.
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The saddest case against the tax is anger at the current Town Board majority. Their timing in engineering the most painful and embarrassing ouster of a town manager they could muster indeed runs right up there with their judgment.
My own anger is about that, rather than the more mundane incidence of a board not seeing eye to eye with the chief administrator. This happens, and there's a sensible way to part ways. Then there's how the Eagle board went about it. Just before an important election.
But look, most of the knuckleheads will be gone in a few weeks. The Town Board at least will be sensible again. And the river, of course, will still be there, needing attention.
Vote for the tax for environmental reasons.
Vote for the tax for economic reasons.
Vote for the tax for recreational reasons.
Vote for the tax for aesthetic reasons.
Voter for the tax for quality-of-life reasons.
All of these considerations easily ring up on the positive side for the cost. What we get from the half-point sales tax is a bargain.
Vote for the tax so the work gets done. Don't let the perfect get in the way of the good, basically. Otherwise, it's clear enough to me, this won't happen.
The investment will more than pay for itself in the generations to come. Enough with the trucker bombs and chain-link fence as if the river were a junkyard instead of a gem.
Publisher Don Rogers can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 970-748-2920.
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