Kum & Go discussion bumped to June 25

A couple of weeks after Eagle staff delivered a collective opinion that construction of a Kum & Go convenience store on the west side of town was a bad idea, members of the town board opted to delay further deliberations about the proposal until the project applicant can respond to the outlined concerns.

And what’s more, the town board decided against hearing testimony from a water quality expert Tuesday night because members of the development team were not present for the meeting.

Kum & Go has proposed building a 24-hour, 5,000 square-foot gas station and convenience store at a vacant lot located on the southwest corner of the Sylvan Lake roundabout on the western end of town. The area currently is zoned as a residential/multi family tract and the proposal would require a zoning change to allow the commercial operation.

Dominic Mauriello of Mauriello Planning Group in Eagle noted that the Kum & Go team had requested the proposal be tabled until June 11 because members were preparing rebuttal testimony to the information presented by town staff at the last meeting. He noted the team is preparing a presentation from the company that oversees compliance issues for Kum & Go in addition to a report about the community need. Mauriello said company representatives assumed the file would be tabled so they were not in attendance Tuesday night.

Their absence was the crux of Tuesday’s discussion. Town board members indicated they were uneasy about hearing expert testimony that could be considered detrimental to the project without the company representatives in attendance.

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Eagle Town Planner Tom Boni noted that Colleen Williams, a source water specialist for the Colorado Rural Water Association, was contacted by staff to elaborate on information presented at the last meeting. The staff testimony earlier this month indicated that construction of a gas station at the Kum & Go proposed site presented risks to Brush Creek and the town’s future water intake along the Eagle River. Williams was contacted by staff to provide additional information regarding state regulations and risk assessment.

Boni noted that Williams was not available to attend either the June 11 or June 25 town board meeting, so she was scheduled to speak Tuesday night. But town board members were adamant that it would not be fair to the applicant to hear her testimony when the team expected their application would be tabled.

“It just isn’t right when they don’t have time to prepare their fair rebuttal,” said town board member Scott Turnipseed.

Town board members urged Mauriello to speak with the applicants to see if the team and the staff could agree on a single water quality expert who could testify at a future date. Additionally, they noted that by continuing the discussion until June 25, both the town staff and the applicant would have time to trade information before the issue comes up for additional debate.

Other action

In other action the town board:

Discussed the landscaping along U.S. Highway 6 in the recently completed bike path area. Town board members previously expressed concern about the area appearance with weeds coming up and traffic cones lining the road. Town Engineer Tom Gosiorowski noted the cones have been removed and weed spraying operations are planned. “The problem in the area is drivers don’t want to wait for cars in front of them to make a left hand turn,” he noted. “That area is not gravel and it is not designed to drive on. To drive across your front yard is not acceptable and it is not acceptable here, either.” Town staff said they would work with the Colorado Department of Transportation to find a long-term solution to people driving through the landscaped area.

Discussed upcoming Century Link franchise negotiations and the possibility of televising town board meetings in the future. Eagle Town Attorney Ed Sands told the board members that Eagle County representatives have indicated that launching a broadcast program would require approximately $15,000 in equipment and that a system could be supported through the county’s current operations. Sands noted if the board wanted to proceed with such a plan, it could finance the outlay by seeking a cash contribution from Century Tell, earmarking funds from the franchise fee to go to the project, or adding a surcharge for Century Link customers.

Approved a contract of up to $4,000 to pay for a cultural assessment for a realignment of the Pool and Ice Rink bike trail. The trail is located on U.S. Bureau of Land Management property and the assessment is a requirement before work could proceed. A cultural assessment brings in archaeologists to determine if there are important sites that warrant protection prior to development of federal land.

Willy’s Final Meeting

After 29 years as Eagle’s Town Manager, Willy Powell attended his final town board meeting Tuesday night.

“Eagle is a very special place. It is a great place to work and play,” said Powell.

He noted that when he began work for the town, Eagle had around 1,100 residents compared to today’s estimated population of 6,000. During that time he has attended more than 1,000 night meetings and served six mayors and 44 town board members.

“Together we can be proud that we have made Eagle one of the preferred communities on the Western Slope,” said Powell.

“I appreciate all that Willy has done for Eagle. There is a reason why so many people want to live here,” said town board member Scott Turnipseed.

“We owe a great debt of gratitude to Willy,” said town board member Scot Webster.

Powell’s last day is June 4. A retirement party for Powell and Eagle Town Clerk Marilene Miller is slated Sunday, June 23 from 2 to 5 p.m. at the Brush Creek Pavilion.

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