Edwards voters pass sales tax | VailDaily.com

Edwards voters pass sales tax

Edwards voters approved a sales tax to help pay for improvements to the state highways that make up the main thoroughfares in the community.
Townsend Bessent | Townsend@vaildaily.com |

Edwards Metropolitan District Ballot Issue A:

Yes: 545

No: 277

Edwards Metropolitan District Board of Directors

Three seats were available.

Kara Heide: 434 votes

William Simmons: 376 votes

John McCaulley: 345 votes

Kelly Malin: 331 votes

EDWARDS — Voters on Tuesday approved a proposal for a 1 percent sales tax increase for most of the businesses in the community. The sales tax is a way for Edwards to help pay for improvements to the state highways that make up the main thoroughfares in the community.

Those roads — U.S. Highway 6 and the spur road that links Highway 6 and Interstate 70 — are controlled and maintained by the Colorado Department of Transportation. But that cash-strapped agency requires communities to provide matching funds for any new construction. That match needs to be at least 20 percent to land on the state’s new-project list.

The Edwards Metropolitan District and Eagle County have agreed to each provide 10 percent of the match for any future projects. The sales tax will help generate that money, either through saving over several years or funding a bond issue.

There’s a significant to-do list in Edwards, starting with the intersection of Highway 6 and the spur road. There isn’t a final plan yet. Options include either a roundabout or expanding the existing intersection. A final decision on which project to pursue will be made this spring.

The first $1.5 million of the sales tax will be dedicated to that project. The other intersection that needs work is at the corner of Highway 6 and Hillcrest Drive, the only entrance to Lake Creek Village apartments and Brett Ranch Villas condos.

Traffic there can be delayed enough that people headed upvalley from Lake Creek Villas sometimes turn right, drive west and catch I-70 at Wolcott.

The most recent local examples of the match in action are in Eagle and Vail. In Eagle, the town set aside money for several years to provide $3 million in funding for the roundabouts. In Vail, town funds make up nearly $9 million of a $30 million project that will build a new underpass linking the north and south frontage roads.

The 1 percent tax will remain in effect until 2040. After that, the tax will drop to 0.5 percent and will continue to be used for transportation, trail and recreation projects.

Vail Daily Business Editor Scott Miller can be reached at 970-748-2930, smiller@vaildaily.com or @scottnmiller.