Vail Daily letter: Difficult decisions in Eagle-Vail
June 3, 2013
I am responding to a recent letter from Patti Sills regarding the Eagle-Vail tennis courts. I hope the community will understand that asking for 5A funds in 2009 have not concluded in a "broken promise" at all. The issues are complicated and 5A funds have already been spent on the tennis courts. The question on the table is how best to spend the remaining 1 percent of those funds.
After rebuilding our pool, renovating our golf course, pavilion, golf restaurant and upgrading our overall community appearance, it is disheartening to think that some might believe that board members have broken promises regarding 5A funds.
I am a current Eagle-Vail Metro District board member and tennis committee member. In a community survey sent last year to over 900 people, 75 percent of those who responded ( over 200) said that they would use the courts more "if improvements were made." Not 75 percent of everyone in Eagle-Vail, as Ms. Sills stated. With this survey, we tried to gauge the importance of this facility in our community.
In 2010, about $28,000 was spent on court resurfacing. This was done with the hope of determining a better long-term solution for the courts. This is where we are today, only three years later. Do we spend another "small" amount (now $40,000) and buy ourselves some more time? A better fix would be to completely rebuild the courts and building, but this would cost $200,000-plus. That's money Eagle-Vail does not currently have.
Ms. Sills considers a "true amenity" one that is used only by Eagle-Vail residents. However, if this is the definition of an amenity, Eagle-Vail has none. The courts are open to the public as are all our parks, golf courses and pool. The maintenance and operational costs of these facilities are supplemented with our taxes. Our amenities, whether exclusive or not, help to make our community great.
So I ask, should we spend the last $50,000 allocated to tennis on a resurface fix that could at best get us two or three more years of use for the courts? But in three years we will be having this discussion again. And we have not even touched on the condition of the building or a possible future golf clubhouse location. This is a complicated set of issues and one that the board and staff want to be completely upfront about.
Our community is only as strong as those who want to participate in its greatness. I promise to help keep our community great and welcome an open dialogue!
If you are interested in making a difference, you are welcome at any committee or board meeting. Please visit eaglevail.org, join the facebook group/page "Eagle-Vail" or "Eagle Vail Community," come to a board meeting, watch the board meetings on Channel 5, email board members or call staff at 970-949-5400.
Leah K.S. Mayer