Eagle River water district opposes state ballot measures
Vail, CO Colorado
VAIL, Colorado – The Eagle River Water and Sanitation District board of directors unanimously approved a resolution advocating voter opposition of Amendments 60 and 61, and Proposition 101, which will appear on the statewide ballot in November.
The board stated its strongest opposition to the initiatives and noted the concern being expressed nationally, citing a Sept. 20 New York Times article.
“The best interest of our customers is at the heart of this resolution,” said board Chairman Bob Warner. “The financial impact of these three measures, separately or collectively, will severely limit the district’s ability to maintain, upgrade, or extend water and sewer services within our boundaries. These ballot measures will impair our ability to continue operating as a sound fiscal steward of public funds, a role in which this board prides itself.”
The Eagle River Water and Sanitation District owns and operates the public water systems which provide a safe and reliable supply of drinking water for customers from Vail to Edwards. The resolution states that the district will not have a practical means of borrowing money to construct and maintain water and sewer lines, wells, or wastewater treatment plants, such as those located in Vail, Avon and Edwards.
Noting Colorado’s constitutional requirement of balanced government budgets, the board considered specific effects on district customers before passing the resolution.
“I’m concerned that if 60, 61, and 101 pass, they force immediate and significant increases in customer service fees,” stated Debbie Buckley, board Secretary, noting that the revenue losses associated with the ballot measures would manifest themselves as immediate 20-25 percent customer rate increases.
Both Amendment 60 and Proposition 101 would result in district revenue losses, as they drastically cut property and vehicle taxes, respectively, officials said. Additionally, Amendment 60 would require the district to pay property taxes from which it was previously exempt, according to district officials.