Eagle River Park project excites town | VailDaily.com

Eagle River Park project excites town

Eagle Chamber President Mick Daly shows off the custom bar stool he received as the winner of the 2016 Eagle Community Impact Award. The award presentation was part of Wednesday's Eagle Vision 20/20 event.

EAGLE — The news from Eagle is generally good these days.

Sales tax receipts are climbing and building permit numbers are up as well. After April's municipal election, the new Eagle Town Board has identified a series of short-term and long-range priorities.

But the big talker around town is the Eagle River Park, a $5.8 million project slated to begin construction in 2017. And the vision for that project was the finale presentation at last week's Eagle Vision 20/20 event.

The town and the Eagle Chamber host the 20/20 events twice a year. A spring presentation focuses on chamber activity while the fall session centers around town activities. Eagle Mayor Anne McKibbin and Town Manager John Schneiger offered updates about what's up in Eagle during the Wednesday night session before introducing Eagle River Park project manager Caroline Bradford and Eagle Town Planner Tom Boni to provide an update for the audience at Eagle Town Hall.

Park plans

The ambitious Eagle River Park plan envisions a new amenity both in and along the river at the current truck parking site just east of the Eagle County Fairgrounds. The town hired a company called S20 to plan various river features to attract boaters, kayakers and tubers, while the riverfront park will include passive and active recreation amenities, trails and a river beach area.

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"The Eagle River Park will be a great front door to Eagle. It's very visible," said Boni.

"We are going to turn a dirt parking lot into a beautiful park," said Bradford. "When you have the opportunity to build a river park in your community, you should embrace it and Eagle has."

Bradford noted that Scott Shipley with S20 has nearly completed the in-stream features design and the next step for the project is to engage Eagle citizens in the riverbank park design. She outlined a schedule which anticipates completion of the permitting process by December giving way to the public design effort from January to June of 2017. Bradford said the final design should be complete by August of next year and in December 2017, construction will begin for the in-stream features.

"There will be heavy equipment in the river," she said, noting local residents will likely be startled by the sight.

Bradford said that the breakdown of costs for the project is roughly $1.5 million for the in-stream work and $1 million for the pedestrian path that will link the park site to the Eagle County Fairgrounds to the west and Chambers Park to the east. The riverfront park project will cost roughly $3 million.

In addition to those dollars, generated from Eagle's recently approved 0.5 percent sales tax, Bradford said the town will be applying for Greater Outdoors Colorado funding. Additionally, there will be a push for local donations.

"We want this to be a project that every family in Eagle is invested in," she said.

EAgle Community Impact Award

The winner of the 2017 Eagle Community Impact Award is Eagle Chamber President Mick Daly.

“Mick Daly has been giving out awards like this for years, when in fact he has been deserving of each one of them,” reads the letter that nominated Daly for the award. “So many of us in Eagle have had the chance to see first-hand just how dedicated Mick is to the community of Eagle, but many others have simply been the unknowing beneficiaries of his work.”

Daly was given a custom bar stool in recognition for the award.

“My friends know me as ‘meddling Mick’ and Eagle has allowed me to meddle,” said Daly.