Avon council supports fire district ballot issue | VailDaily.com

Avon council supports fire district ballot issue

Daily staff report
Vail, CO Colorado

Board: Avon Town Council, Oct. 23 regular meeting.

Present: Todd Goulding, Dave Dantas, Amy Phillips, Rich Carroll, Kristi Ferraro, Chris Evans, Buz Reynolds.

Issue: Resolution of support for the Eagle River Fire Protection District’s ballot issue seeking a tax increase.

Who they talked to: District board members John McCaulley and Jennifer Cartmell-Hays, who explained a bit about the tax proposal. They told council members that the proposal would raise enough money to bring the district’s revenues back to 2010 levels.

Without the increase, supporters say the district’s revenues will drop to the point that two of the four operating stations would have be closed permanently.

Carroll said he’s troubled by the idea of raising taxes, but the idea of permanently closing two stations is “unacceptable.”

Rather than face a “threat to health and safety,” Carroll said he’ll choose the tax increase. Most of the rest of the council agreed.

How they voted: 6-1 to approve, with Dantas opposed.

Issue: A resolution supporting the nearly-complete Eagle Valley Land Exchange.

Who they talked to: Eagle Valley Open Space Coordinator Toby Sprunk.

Sprunk said the Eagle County commissioners are set to give final approval Oct. 30 to that portion of the exchange, a complex deal that involves property and money from the town, the county, the Colorado State Land Board, the U.S. Forest Service and the Colorado Department of Transportation. The town of Avon several years ago pledged roughly $1 million for the project.

The exchange affects property from Edwards to Dowd Junction, and will bring Forest Service property between Wildridge and Singletree into the town.

“This is the most complicated exchange I’ve ever been a part of,” Spunk said.

With an early-November deadline looming to get the deal done, Sprunk said he’s optimistic all the parties will get their work done in time. If they don’t the lengthy federal process starts over again.

How they voted: 7-0 to approve.

– Scott N. Miller

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