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Avon land may be condemned for fire station

Matt Terrell
Vail, CO Colorado

AVON, Colorado” A new fire station being planned in Avon could come at the cost of millions of dollars in lost tax revenue over the life of the facility, says a local businessman.

Jim Pavelich wants to build a family style restaurant, a bakery and deli, a coffee shop and low-cost housing on land he owns by the Golden Eagle Tire store on Nottingham Road, but his land is in the process of being condemned by the Eagle River Fire Protection District for a new fire station.

Pavelich, who founded the Vail Daily and sold it in 1993, says he doesn’t want to sell his land and is fighting the district’s decision.

“It’s unfortunate that they’re taking one of the prime commercial spots in all of Avon and turning it into a building that generates no tax revenue,” he said.

But fire chief Charlie Moore says that Pavelich’s land on Nottingham is the best place for a new fire station in Avon, which is needed because the station on Benchmark Road is getting too small for new equipment and will have to move to make room for Avon’s redevelopment plans for downtown.

A new station on Nottingham Road will be close to buildings in Avon and Wildridge and have easy access to Interstate 70 so fire trucks can reach Minturn and Edwards, Moore said.

A new station is necessary, and this is the only logical place they’ve found to put it, Moore said.

“We’ve spent the last year looking for a suitable parcel, and we can’t seem to find something that works as well as that one,” Moore said.

Pavelich said he supports the fire department and doesn’t mind them building a new fire station ” as long as it isn’t on real estate that could generate lots of tax revenue for the town.

Pavelich also wonders why the district wants to build on his land when last year, developer Traer Creek LLC donated land to the district for a new fire station in the Village at Avon. He sees not using that land as a waste of taxpayer money.

“They already own land suitable at the Traer Creek site, and they’ll have to pay a lot of money for my land,” Pavelich said.

The fire district doesn’t consider the Traer Creek site a good place for a fire station, or at least one for Avon proper. The fire district might build a fire station there someday, but only when the Village at Avon is fully developed, Moore said.

Now, there aren’t many buildings there. The fire station has to be closer to the heart of Avon and near other buildings.

“Response time is critical, and there are no structures over there to protect, save Home Depot and Wal-Mart,” Moore said. “This property was always intended to serve Traer Creek, and it was never intended to be a replacement for Avon’s fire station.”

The district has filed a petition for condemnation, which basically starts the legal process of taking the land. Court dates will be set, and a a judge will end up determining if there’s a need for the condemnation, if it’s for a public purpose, and how much money Pavelich will be paid.

Staff Writer Matt Terrell can be reached at 748-2955 or mterrell@vaildaily.com.


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