Government Tracker: Avon council hears a pitch for new fire tax |

Government Tracker: Avon council hears a pitch for new fire tax

Present: Buzz Reynolds, Chris Evans, Kristi Ferraro, Rich Carroll, Amy Phillips, Dave Dantas, Todd Goulding.

Issue: Eagle River Fire Protection District tax increase proposal.

Person they talked to: District Chief Charlie Moore.

What they talked about: Moore – who said he was speaking to the council on his own time – told council members the district’s tax proposal would add about $15 per $100,000 in home value to a property tax bill. That money would help cover an estimated $1.7 million annual shortfall that starts next year due to falling taxable property values in the county.

Moore told the council the tax increase would keep the district at its 2011 revenue levels until 2019, when the tax expires.

If the tax increase doesn’t pass, Moore said the district would be forced to cut services. That will probably include a rotating system of station closures.

“We have a deficit of $1.7 million and reserves of about $3 million,” Moore said. “There’s no good choices here, only tough choices.”

What’s next? Mail ballots have gone out this week. Votes will be counted Nov. 1.

Issue: USA Pro Cycling Challenge event recap.

Person they talked to: Adam Lueck, of the Vail Valley Foundation.

What they talked about: Lueck gave the council an overview of the Vail Valley portion of August’s USA Pro Cycling Challenge, which featured a time trial starting in Vail and a stage start on the Avon to Steamboat Springs leg of the tour. Lodging occupancy was up for the races, and Lueck said the event drew about 7,500 spectators to Avon.

While TV ratings data isn’t final yet, Lueck said those who did tune in saw about two minutes’ worth of video from Avon on the race day’s wrap-up show.

What’s next? The Vail Valley Foundation is putting together a bid to bring the tour back to the valley next year. The Vail time trial will be part of the proposal, but people at the Foundation are pitching a couple of options for Avon and Beaver Creek.

Lueck also said small mountain communities need to find more ways to cooperate by sharing law enforcement resources and, perhaps, putting together lodging packages across the region.

“These people are coming for a bike race,” Lueck said. “They’re not hanging out after – when it’s done, they’re going to the next stop. How do we capture that group?”

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