Fountain costs overflow in Vail Village
VAIL ” Kim Newbury didn’t think anything really needed to be done to Seibert Circle.
A million and a half dollars later, she’s not very happy.
“I think the wool just got pulled over everyone’s eyes,” said Newbury, a Vail councilwoman. “It’s taxpayer dollars. It’s an unnecessary project that we’re spending $1.3 million on.”
The price tag for the improvements over the last few years to Seibert Circle ” at the top of Bridge Street near base of the ski mountain ” has grown to $1.7 million. That includes the cost of the water-fire fountain that’s planned for circle, repaving the street and snow-melt equipment.
The fountain is designed by WET Design, the same company that did the fountains at the Bellagio Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas.
The town is paying $1.3 million of the cost, and Vail Resorts and other donors are covering the rest. The town’s cost includes an additional $200,000 ” needed because of cost overruns ” that the Town Council approved at its last meeting.
The fountain was supposed to be completed by July 1, but construction hasn’t started yet. Troubles with design, planning and cost overruns have delayed the project.
The extra $200,000 is for things like additional steel work, additional installation costs and inflation.
Last week, the Town Council approved the extra $200,000 by a 5-2 vote, with Newbury and Kevin Foley voting against it.
“This is a debacle, and this is embarrassing,” Newbury said as she cast her vote.
Meanwhile, the Vail council may ask voters to approve a new tax because the town doesn’t have enough money to pay for capital projects.
The $200,000 was taken from money that was already in the streetscape budget.
The sculpture is now supposed to be done by November.
“I think this fountain is going to be a fountain that’s going to be there forever, and it’s going to be one of our landmark icons that people are happy with,” said Mark Gordon, a councilman who voted to approve the extra funds.
Until 2005, a sculpture by Jesus Moroles, which cost $700,000, was in the plaza. But council members decided the sculpture was no longer right for that spot.
Staff Writer Edward Stoner can be reached at 748-2929 or email@example.com.