Eagle County officials hosting survey to gauge interest in open space tax | VailDaily.com

Eagle County officials hosting survey to gauge interest in open space tax

Daily staff report
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EAGLE — The Eagle County Board of Commissioners is seeking input from county residents regarding an extension of funding for the county's open space program utilizing the existing property tax measure, currently set to expire in 2025.

The short opinion survey is available at bit.ly/openspacesurvey2018 until Wednesday, Aug. 22. Responses are strictly confidential. The county commissioners will use the information gathered as part of this community opinion survey, as well as other public input, to decide whether to place an open space extension question on the November 2018 ballot. This would not be a new tax, but an extension of existing funding.

"The survey will provide valuable information. The commissioners and the Open Space Program team are interested to learn what is important to our residents as this can help to guide and inform the future work of the program," said Diane Mauriello, Eagle County Open Space Manager.

The Eagle County Open Space Program was established when voters in 2002 approved a dedicated 1.5 mill levy tax on property to fund the acquisition, maintenance and preservation of open space in the county. The open space tax generates approximately $4.5 million per year in revenue for the program.

The Eagle County Open Space Program seeks to acquire or conserve properties that:

• Protect wildlife habitat and/or wildlife movement corridors.

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• Maintain scenic quality and view sheds that contribute to Eagle County's sense of natural beauty.

• Protect riparian areas, flood plains and other sensitive, unique or endangered ecosystems and environments.

• Provide access to rivers, streams and public lands and improve opportunities for high quality dispersed recreation.

• Preserve working farms and ranches that provide a sense of heritage and history.

• Provide physical and visual buffers to promote community separation and distinction.

Questions about the opinion survey or Eagle County's Open Space Program can be directed to Mauriello, at 970-328-8698 or diane.mauriello@eaglecounty.us.