Avon incumbent eyes four more years | VailDaily.com

Avon incumbent eyes four more years

Sarah Mausolf
Vail, CO Colorado
NWS Rich Carroll KA 10-22-10

AVON, Colorado – Rich Carroll says he enjoys serving the community and wants to do it for another four years.

He’s running for re-election to Town Council in the Nov. 2 election.

“I really want to continue to make Avon a better place and a place we can be proud of,” he said.

Carroll, 50, moved to Avon in 2000. He lives in Wildridge with his wife, Geralyn, twin 9-year-old daughters Claire and Mia, and 7-year-old daughter, Gianna. He works for a Denver-based company that provides phone systems for businesses.

Looking back over the past four years, Carrroll points to several projects he helped bring to fruition.

Carroll said he and fellow councilman Dave Dantas successfully campaigned for a pedestrian paths along roads in upper Wildridge. They rode bikes with children in tow along the roads and video taped it to highlight the need for a bike path. In the end, they convinced council to approve pedestrian paths along Saddle Ridge Loop, as well as Bear Trap Road and East and West Wildridge roads.

Carroll said he’s also proud of the Walking Mountains campus and ambulance station that have taken shape during his tenure.

He also stands behind the town’s decision to re-align Lake Street, a project the town funded with Urban Renewal Authority money without raising taxes. The Lake Street improvements were the first step toward the planned Main Street project.

“It sets the foundation for real redevelopment in Avon,” Carroll said.

Over the past few years, Carroll has experienced boom times in Avon and tough times. He said the town kept a balanced budget during the downturn by cutting 17 full-time staff positions, enacting furloughs and making other cuts.

If re-elected, he said his top priority for the budget would be to maintain the health and safety of Avon while also keeping a balanced budget. In 2012, the town expects to see a drop in property taxes as a number of properties are reassessed at a lower value. Carroll said would not support a tax increase to make up the revenue shortfall the town will experience.

Instead, he wants to find savings, possibly by working with ECO Transit to save money and be reimbursed. One idea to explore is having ECO buses stored in the Swift Gulch bus barn, which would save time and money involved in driving to a storage facility downvalley.

To jump-start local businesses, Carroll wants to draw more people to town.

“I’d like to set a goal to have three more special events in Avon by 2012,” he said.

Another concept that could bring more vitality and business to Avon is the proposed Main Street, Carroll said. He wants to see the project completed but only once money enough money collects in the urban renewal authority fund.

Main Street as it was designed a few years ago is definitely way too lavish, he said. For example, the designs included $900,000 for bollards to direct cars, expensive artwork and fancy fountains.

“Main Street needs to be redesigned so it’s less expensive while still upgrading the look and feel of Avon,” Carroll said. “It will occur with no increase in taxes when the urban renewal authority can afford it.”

When it comes to the ongoing dispute between Avon and developers of Village at Avon, Carroll said he’s limited on what he can say because of the lawsuits. However, he stressed Town Council was unanimous in the legal position it has taken.

The town claims the Traer Creek Metropolitan District owes $3.3 million in outstanding payments. The main lawsuit between the parties is heading for trial.

“I’m absolutely committed 100 percent to making decision that are in the best interest of the Avon taxpayers and Avon community,” Carroll said.

Staff Writer Sarah Mausolf can be reached at 970-748-2928 or smausolf@vaildaily.com.

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