Avon plans to fund trails in upcoming year’s budget
AVON — The Eagle Valley Trail’s final phase through town looks like it will be completed in 2016, thanks to grants and public funding.
The paved trail is now 19 miles shy of connecting Dotsero to East Vail in a continuous pathway. Avon’s section will provide a few more miles to that network, which currently dead ends in town near Avon Road.
On Tuesday, the retaining walls necessary to complete the trail received approval from the Avon Planning Commission, and the town’s 2016 budget — which the council will vote on in December — has more than $1 million dedicated to the completion of the trail. Add that to the $1.35 million in Colorado Department of Transportation grants and more than $450,000 from Eagle County’s ECO Trails department, and the total $2,825,000 needed to actually create the trail from Avon Road to Stonebridge is accounted for.
“You can see in this budget how much grants are allowing projects to go forward,” town manager Virgina Egger said. “(Without grant funding) we would not be doing a lot of what you’re able to look at.”
Avon’s portion of the Eagle Valley Trail money will come out of the town’s real estate transfer tax fund and town’s community enhancement funds, subject to budget approval in December. The Avon segment of the trail has been identified by town staff as one of the most important segments for safety as it will move walkers and bike riders off of U.S. Highway 6.
$3,785,000 FOR TRAILS
The Eagle Valley Trail is one of several trails projects outlined in the town’s 2016 budget. Other projects included in the budget are a Metcalf Road climbing lane, dedicated bicycle lanes on West Beaver Creek Blvd. and the development of a new Trails Master Plan from the town’s Trails Advisory Group.
In a presentation to the Avon Town Council last week, Kat Sedillo with the town’s Trails Advisory Group told the council the group has plans for three more trails in the Wildridge area, which was developed with trails last summer and is now seeing an abundance of use.
“We need to think about dispersing that growth,” she said.
Using a theme of “making your door into your trailhead,” Sedillo said the three new trails the group is proposing will give residents of upper Wildridge the same access to trails that the residents of lower Wildridge now have as a result of the trail development in the West Avon Preserve plot of open space in Wildridge.
“Getting to the bigger picture that a lot of us are keen on, of really connecting this entire county on soft surface trails, so that you can go out any door, whether you live in East Vail, or whether you live in Gypsum, and you can hop on dirt and get safely from point A to point B east to west throughout our county,” Sedillo said.