Eagle voters will decide future uses for open space bed tax dollars | VailDaily.com

Eagle voters will decide future uses for open space bed tax dollars

For the past 18 years, Eagle has collected a $2 per room per night lodging tax with proceeds earmarked for open space acquisition.

Next wee, residents will decide whether those open space dollars can also be used for other improvements for the town’s open space lands and trails system.

The original open space ballot question specified that proceeds from the lodging occupation tax would be used exclusively for acquisition, maintenance and management of lands for open space, wildife habitat and wetland preservation. Eagle’s ballot question on April 1 will specify that lodging occupation dollars can also be applied to “construction and maintenance of soft path recreation trails connecting to the existing Eagle area trails system and the construction of facilities which will serve open space users such as restrooms, parking areas and other physical improvements which improve the quality of the user’s experience when utilizing town open space and adjacent lands.”

In a unanimous vote earlier this year, members of the Eagle Town Board agreed to bring the question to the voters.

“We don’t think that we are changing the spirit of the open space funding as approved by the voters,” said Kostick. He characterized the ballot question as more of a housekeeping item.

Kostick noted that last year, Eagle used open space dollars to partner with property owner Ric Newman and the U.S. Bureau of Land Management to construct the Haymaker trail. Kostick said that while members of the Eagle Town Board supported spending open space dollars on trail building, given the 1996 ballot question language, members were leery of using those dollars for improvements such as trailhead parking areas or restrooms. That’s what prompted the April 1 ballot question.

The open space lodging occpation tax generates approximately $100,000 annually. Tuesday night, the Eagle Town Board unanimously passed the resolution to take the proposal to the voters.

Polling Place voting

Voters who have become accustomed to marking their ballots from the comfort of their living rooms won’t have that convenience this time around.

Due to changes in Colorado election law, the permanent mail-in voter designation has been discontinued and both the town of Eagle and the town of Gypsum will be conducting polling place elections. Eagle’s election will be held next Tuesday, April 1. Gypsum’s municipal election will be held Tuesday, April 8.

Eagle Town Clerk Sarah Braucht said walk-in absentee voting began on March 17 and will continue through Friday, March 28. No early voting can take place after close of business on Friday, March 28 and remaining voters must cast their ballot in person on Tuesday, April 1. The polling place is located at the Eagle Town Hall at 200 Broadway and the polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Election Day.

Any questions regarding Eagle municipal election can be directed to Braucht at sarah@townofeagle.org or 970-328-9623.

Questionaires completed by the seven Eagle Town Board candidates follow. Questionaires completed by the Gypsum Town Council will appear in the Thursday, April 3 edition of the Free Enterprise.

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