Edwards to look at costs of becoming a town | VailDaily.com

Edwards to look at costs of becoming a town

Veronica Whitney

The Edwards Council of Governing Entities (ECOGE) agreed this week to look into the logistics of becoming a municipality.”We can’t ask the public what they think about incorporation without knowing the costs and all the facts,” said Sandra Donnelly, a resident of Edwards and member of the Eagle County Planning Commission.Some Edwards residents have been vocal in opposing the county’s land use decisions in their area. Becoming a town would remove those decisions from the county and put them in the hands of an Edwards town government. But several Edwards residents wondered if the benefits of being a town would be worth the cost.Ken Marchetti of Robertson & Marchetti, will draft a proposal for a study to determine the cost of incorporation and how to fund a town. The next step, ECOGE members said, would be forming a political action committee to seek funding for the study on incorporation, and finally a possible ballot issue.Marchetti said the cost of becoming a town worries residents, and for good reason. He said it would mean a substantial increase in taxes in the area.A town’s revenue comes from sales taxes and property taxes – and unincorporated areas like Edwards don’t charge sales taxes.Marchetti said the study would determine the town’s boundaries, as well as which services and facilities.”I’m very satisfied with the services we get now,” Doris Dewton of Singletree said at this week’s ECOGE meeting. “I think we might be able to avoid the whole issue of incorporation if we take care of the roads and the land use.””Our vision of Edwards is a community for people who live here, and I don’t think we need to incorporate to sustain this vision,” said ECOGE member Chuck Powers.Lach said incorporating creates the power to zone undeveloped land, which he said could reduce the area’s population growth.”A lot of us don’t want 30,000 people living here,” he said. “If we zone to get big, we’ll get big.”County Commissioner Michael Gallagher said Edwards should look into incorporation because a local government would represent the people better than a government 15 miles away. Because Edwards is not a town, it’s affairs are run by Eagle County, which looks after the interests of the county as a whole.”I don’t think it is fair for the residents to have a government who doesn’t even live here,” he said.Veronica Whitney can be reached at 949-0555 ext. 454 or at vwhitney@vaildaily.com.

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