Fines after first bear offense in Avon |

Fines after first bear offense in Avon

Nicole Frey

AVON ” Avon residents will no longer have the luxury of a warning before they’re fined for leaving trash or trashcans out to tempt the area’s hungry bears. Like in Vail, Avon police will be able to skip giving a warning and go straight to fining violators.

The silver lining on this cloud? The minimum fine is just a penny. The bad news? It goes up to $250.

Avon Town Council toyed with the idea of imposing a $1 minimum fine, proposed by Councilwoman Tamra Nottingham Underwood.

“So it could be, like, $10 if it’s an honest mistake and $100 if it’s an egregious first offense,” she said.

Mayor Ron Wolfe opposed the $1 minimum, saying it went against Avon trying to be leaders in keeping bears away from trash.

Police Chief Brian Kozak supported the move, saying it would make things easier for his officers and allow them to use their discretion “instead of having to warn them and then having to wait for the next offense,” he said.

Councilwoman Debbie Buckley, who was absent from the Town Council meeting, had previously voiced concern about new residents in Avon being fined because they don’t know about the law. But Kozak said newcomers would likely just receive a warning.

The amendment to the law also included changing the word “person” to “resident” to encompass individuals and businesses.

“We are clearly the leader here,” Nottingham Underwood said.

Staff Writer Nicole Frey can be reached at 748-2927 or

Vail, Colorado

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