Avon makes barn decision final, upholds election
Decision is the second council action to be reversed by the community in recent years
AVON — The Town Council made the results of the recent barn election official on Tuesday, taking action to discontinue financial efforts to save the 110-year-old structure.
The council didn’t offer much in the way of discussion, thanking the Eagle River Water & Sanitation District for allowing the town to seek an alternative solution to the potential demolition of the structure. The water district needs the space to accommodate a federally-mandated expansion of the wastewater treatment plant in that location.
The Avon council had previously approved a $1.6-million plan to move the barn to the town core, but a community survey designed to mimic an election revealed a strong distaste among the public for the idea, which received 104 votes in favor and 891 against.
Following the council decision, Avon resident Dave Strandjord said he was happy with how quick the process went on Tuesday.
“Nice to see it only took a few minutes to put it to rest,” he said.
Tuesday’s decision was the second council action to be reversed by the community in recent years.
In 2014, Strandjord led an effort to reverse the council’s decision to purchase a new town hall building for $3.2 million using annually renewing bonds.
The building was eventually purchased for $1.5 million in cash and the building, which had been vacant for more than 15 years, was finally activated in 2018.
The Hahnewald barn doesn’t have that kind of time.
While supporters point out the effort to save the barn has been underway for years, the water district’s deadline of June 1 put additional pressure on the project.
Some private fundraising did occur, but not nearly enough to dent the bid of $390,000 from Mammoth Movers, which would have moved the barn in tact to the former town hall’s parking lot. From there, the costs would start to escalate, a prospect that made the barn’s many detractors especially concerned.
“We just don’t know what the final cost will be,” said council member Chico Thuon, a vocal opponent of the plan.
As of Tuesday, the Eagle County Historical Society was still accepting donations to save the barn at https://eaglecountyhistoricalsociety.com/hahnewald-barn-preservation-donation/