Eagle-Vail short $700K for new pool, tennis courts | VailDaily.com

Eagle-Vail short $700K for new pool, tennis courts

EAGLE-VAIL ” Eagle-Vail is still looking for about $700,000 to build a new swimming pool and tennis courts.

Last November, residents approved Referendum 5A by a 3-to-1 margin, which allowed the metro district to keep property-tax increases to fund recreation facility improvements. The neighborhood’s facilities are almost 30 years-old and in disrepair, metro district officials said.

Besides the new pool and courts, the plans for the funds also included golf-course repairs and the completion of a multi-use rec trail.

The money from 5A will provide about $2.5 million, but the budget for the project will probably total about $3.2 million, District Operations Manager Kim Ahmad said.

The district is applying for grants from the state lottery-funded Greater Outdoors Colorado and Eagle County to help with the costs.

“We’re trying to stay within budget, and we don’t want to go back and ask for funds from the residents, so this is worth a chance,” Ahmad said of the grants.

The project is moving along, she said ” local architects Snowdon Hopkins are expected to have design sketches of the new projects within the next couple weeks.

“We’re encouraging anyone who agrees and would like to ask (the county) for funds, to write to the commissioners and express support,” Ahmad said.

Some residents are saying the project is worth the money, and they’re confident that the district will find the funds to make up the difference.

“Our goal is to create something we can be proud of, not just something that will get us by,” said Led Gardner, a member of the Eagle-Vail development committee. “It’s a slight financial shortfall that’s holding us back. There are financial opportunities out there to make ends meet.”

Eagle-Vail Metro District resident Amy Phillips said she’s not surprised that 5A didn’t cover the expenses, but she thinks the district is doing the right thing in going after grants.

“I always believed they would need way more funding than 5A would provide,” said Phillips. “But those are exactly the type of matching funds any town would know to go after, and it’s good the district is applying for them.”

The metro district has also done a good job being forthright about their funds and getting the community involved in the process, she said.

Resident Paul Hields said he also supports the project that the community wanted, even though it is costing a little more than expected.

“It’ll make a huge difference,” he said of the new facilities. “It’ll increase property values, and it will improve neighborhood lifestyle and desirability to move here. And honestly, to do what we want to do, and give the community what we want to give it, you can never have enough money.”

Staff Writer Melanie Wong can be reached at 970-748-2928 or mwong@vaildaily.com.

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