Avon council stalls on joint safety facility plan
AVON — The town issued a press release earlier this week that said the council was expected to approve a design for a new police station on Tuesday.
Those expectations proved to be false, however, when — following hours of deliberation — the council tabled the effort after failing to come to an agreement with the Eagle River Fire and Protection District.
As the two entities, Avon and the Fire District, negotiate terms on a complicated deal to create a joint public safety facility for both fire and police services, the major sticking point is the price of the land on which the facility would sit. Located on Buck Creek Road adjacent to Centura Health’s new medical center, the location would see fire, police and ambulance services all operating out of one location. Centrally located near the interstate, the Avon Council and the Eagle River Fire and Protection District agree the site is ideal for such a facility. Just what that location is worth, however, has created a point of contention. The fire district, which currently owns the land, values it at about $1.9 million. After granting the district an interest free loan to obtain the land, and leasing the current Avon fire station to the district at $1 per year, Avon would like to see their cost on the land reduced.
May ballot question
The Fire District would like to go to the ballot in May to ask the voters for money to construct both the Avon facility and a new fire station in Edwards. With the clock ticking on the effort to get that ballot language together on time, the Fire District had given Avon a deadline of Nov. 10 to decide whether the town was going to partner with the district on the joint safety facility. Avon responded by tabling the issue.
“This isn’t going to be 60 days or 90 days,” Avon Town Manager Virginia Egger said after the meeting. “Everyone is highly focused on the need to finalize a decision quickly.”
At Tuesday’s meeting of the Avon Town Council, Mayor Jennie Fancher told the district representative at the meeting that they could expect correspondence from the town on Wednesday.
“We have provided direction to our negotiators for the acquisition of fire district land,” Fancher said.
On Wednesday, Egger said the correspondence was private.
“The letter is a confidential response to negotiations for the purchase of land by the town of Avon from the ERFPD for the police department co-location. As such, it will not be released to the press or the public at this time,” she said. “I think you can expect the negotiations to be completed by no later than Nov. 17, at which time, the council will take action, if any, in open session.”
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