Avon faces tough spending decisions | VailDaily.com

Avon faces tough spending decisions

Lauren Glendenning
Avon, CO Colorado

AVON, Colorado –There’s still hope for nonprofits who look to the town of Avon, Colorado for funding each year.

The Avon Town Council is about to determine what it can afford in 2010 budget and Town Manager Larry Brooks called the town’s budget skin and bones.

At a June council meeting, Brooks told council members to think about eliminating nonprofit contributions for 2010 because of the tough economy and its strain on town revenues. Council members didn’t say whether they favored eliminating the contributions, but a few members clearly wanted to find a way to still give support to organizations that support the town.

It comes down to asking how much the town has to spend and to spend it only on the best things, said Mayor Ron Wolfe.

“Some things clearly have ongoing benefit,” Wolfe said.

The town lumped marketing money into the talk, pointing out things like the Salute to the USA event on the Fourth of July and the Birds of Prey World Cup ski race at Beaver Creek are events that are part of the town’s identity.

“If marketing dollars are down and people stop coming here, that’s a real significant negative (to the town),” said Councilman Dave Dantas.

Councilwoman Kristi Ferraro pointed out that some of the contributions to organizations indirectly benefit the town because those are services the town doesn’t have to provide.

The Birds of Prey was another priority that council members all shared. Councilman Brian Sipes said when he’s been skiing in Europe and tells people he’s from Vail, nobody has ever heard of it. When he says Beaver Creek, everybody knows exactly where it is because of the recognition from the World Cup.

He suggested maybe giving less to the Birds of Prey marketing efforts and requiring less, such as none of the VIP benefits for town council members and staff.

Members agreed the town needed to know how much money it has to work with before it decides whether to cut funding for certain events or organizations.

“If you were deficit spending by $130,000, I don’t lose sleep,” said Town Manager Larry Brooks. “There is a benefit to leveraging your money in down times to market and promote yourself in down times.”

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