Engineer has eye on infrastructure
Shawn Koch, 35
– Life-long resident of Eagle
– Owns K-Guarantee, Inc., an insulation and energy efficiency business
– Mechanical engineer
– Most important issue: Infrastructure – roads, sewer and water. All of those facilities are becoming more and more taxed and will be pushed to new limits as the Bluffs and Eagle Ranch build out. Structural inefficiencies cost lots of money. We need people on the board who understand the research and who can make informed judgments on the validity of proposals by outside entities wanting to do business in the community.
– Downtown redevelopment: Will likely involve demolition of existing properties. That’s more costly than new development. It still costs less to build commercial property on Chambers Avenue. The town needs to make downtown redevelopment more cost-effective for the developer.
“If tax incentives are going to be given, it should be to someone who wants to come in downtown.”
– Big box development: It depends on the store that comes in. “I would not want a Wal-Mart in Eagle, no way. Maybe a Lands End or Sportsman’s Warehouse.”
Introduction of big box development is coupled with our environment. We need to state what our community is about. “We’re not about skiing. We need to promote ourselves as an environmental, outdoorsy, Moab-kind of place and bring in the people who want to spend time outdoors.”
Before making tax incentive deals, the town needs to look at the long-term impact. The town council needs to be wary. If we do have them, they should be short term.
– Open space management: If we are buying open space to gain access to public lands, it has to be open to everyone. It needs to be structured so people can get access. If open space borders public lands, we need to allow access to larger portions.
Developers need to be responsible for open space uses such as park and recreation within their projects. Trails are part of the infrastructure issues. We need a plan to connect paths to their destination.
– Growth policies: There is no such thing as growing from the inside out. “It’s like dropping a pebble in a pond. The ripples go out, hit boundaries, then grow back in.” Growth boundaries are a short-sighted policy. The town is already at its boundaries. We need to decide, if we grow past the boundary, what kind of things we must do to move the density back to town over 30 to 40 years. Old town Eagle is falling apart. It will get redeveloped, at a higher density. “It’s a harmonic re-distribution.”
– Why I’m a good candidate: My biggest contribution would be technical knowledge. I have an ability to listen, and understand, from a business standpoint.
“I can take many different ideas and put them together so they are related to each other in a positive manner. That’s my greatest ability – looking at things as a system, not as parts.
“The next four years will see huge changes for the town. I want to be able to offer my services and understanding to people.”