Eagle-Vail tax: It’s not just the pool | VailDaily.com

Eagle-Vail tax: It’s not just the pool

Melanie Wong
Vail, CO Colorado

EAGLE-VAIL ” To build a new pool and repair other recreation facilities, the property tax rate will have to stay the same, the neighborhood’s rec district says.

The money generated if Referendum 5A is approved in November would help pay for a new and bigger community pool. The Eagle-Vail pool closed at the end of this summer due to disrepair.

Funds would also be used to complete an Eagle-Vail rec trail, repair parts of the golf course and build new tennis courts, said Kim Ahmad, district operations manager.

Property values rose from the previous year, said district accountant Ken Marchetti, so keeping the current rate, which expires in 2009, will bring in more money. Passing the referendum would therefore raise taxes, but not the tax rate.

All residents within the Eagle-Vail metro district registered to vote in Colorado can vote. Here are some points to ponder:

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Plans are still in the preliminary stages and exact costs are not available, board members said. A 2008 budget draft will be available at a board work session on Oct. 30. The district hopes to adopt the budget at their Nov. 15 regular meeting.

Rough estimates are that the proposed improvements will cost $5 million, with the tennis courts and pool making up about half of that, Ahmad said.

The $5 million in improvements are the first phase of a master plan, which might include selling the golf clubhouse and relocating it to the valley floor. All the improvements would cost about $20 million.

This referendum would get the “big picture” started and the district would have to find other sources of funding for the rest of the improvements and maintenance costs, said John Nichols, president of the metro district board.

The board decided not to aim for more projects right now because the cost would be a big burden on residents, said board member Bob Finlay.

The service portion of the property tax, which makes up almost two-thirds of the tax rate, would expire in 2009 as bonds are paid off.

In that case the district would look for other funding and scale down the repairs. The pool would get temporary repairs, such as replastering. That would cost about $100,000, Ahmad said.

While it is common for bond issues to ask for a certain amount for specific capital projects, this ballot question pertains to basic repairs and maintenance issues, Marchetti said. A continuation of the tax rate allows the money to be used for those projects, but also be flexible for other needs that come up, he said.

The new rate would not have an expiration date. Improvements and repairs will come up again, so this way the district will not need to keep coming back to the community for new funding, Marchetti said.

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

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