Eagle-Vail votes down 5A
Ballot issue 5A, Eagle-Vail
EAGLE-VAIL — On Tuesday, Eagle-Vail voters said a resounding “no” to a bond issue to raise $10.8 million for a number of community projects, the biggest of which would have provided a new clubhouse for the golf course.
Ballot issue 5A was voted down 621-382. The votes were counted after nearly 13 hours of ballot collecting and tallying at the Eagle-Vail Pavilion.
The proposed project would have relocated the current clubhouse, which sits up on Eagle Drive, to the valley floor where it could also serve the tennis courts, swimming pool and as a community center. The proposal also included improvements to the community’s pocket parks, replacing the tennis courts and extending the Eagle-Vail Trail.
According to the metro district, the bond would have cost homeowners $280 annually for a house valued at $500,000.
A controversial question
In the weeks preceding the election, the ballot issue caused considerable controversy, with heated debates at community meetings, vocal critics and ardent supporters.
Jake Jacobson, who has lived in Eagle-Vail for 32 years, voted against 5A.
“It comes down to fiscal responsibility. It’s a big group telling me what’s good for me and sending me the bill,” he said of the ballot issue.
He said he isn’t against all the parts of the proposal — for example, he thinks the tennis courts are in disrepair — but he would rather renovate the existing clubhouse and keep the Eagle-Vail Pavilion as the neighborhood’s community center.
Like many of 5A’s critics, he’s also concerned about seeing his taxes go up.
“I’m paying $2,000 less now than when the market was at its height, and I kind of like that. To see it go up with careless spending is not what I want to see,” Jacobson said.
Supporters of the bill argued that Eagle-Vail needs to update its aging assets if it is going to continue to be a great community that draws and keeps residents.
Louise Funk, the chairman of the Eagle-Vail Metro District Board, was disappointed with the outcome, especially after a survey in October showed that 60 percent of voters supported the measure.
“We believed it was a great value for what we would have gotten back and what the community would have received,” she said. “I believe that the ‘no’ voters got out and put out a strong campaign. I’ll say that the numbers were skewed and used as a scare tactic. I think if people had looked at the numbers closely, many may have voted differently.”
Eagle-Vail homeowner Pavan Krueger voted “yes” on 5A, saying that she trusts the property owners association and metro district to responsibly develop the neighborhood. She pointed to the swimming pool and Eagle-Vail Pavilion as successful past projects. Plus, the clubhouse needs to be rebuilt or renovated eventually, she said.
“I trust they are spending money in a prudent way, so I don’t feel the need to micromanage that,” she said. “For what we’re getting, I don’t see it as a very large tax. Given the amenities that we have and the pittance that we pay for POA fees, another $500 doesn’t bother me at all.”
Eagle-Vail authorities said that in light of the “no” vote, they’ll go back to work to revise the proposal. In the meantime, there are a number of electrical, mechanical and plumbing repairs that will have to be done on the existing clubhouse to keep it running for the next two years.
“This is round one. We’ll definitely go back to the drawing board,” said Funk. She added that the vocal “no” voters need to get involved in future community projects. “It’s important that the people who didn’t believe in the whole package to be part of the solution. Don’t just put it down — get on board and join a committee.”
Residents with input about how Eagle-Vail should move forward with its future improvements should contact Eagle-Vail Metro District Community Manager Jeff Layman at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 970-790-1219.
Assistant Managing Editor Melanie Wong can be reached at 970-748-2927 or at email@example.com. Follow her on Twitter @mwongvail.