Government Tracker: Avon gives $7,000 to Man of the Cliff
Board: Avon Town Council, March 10 regular meeting.
Present: Council members Buz Reynolds, Matt Gennett, Jennie Fancher, Megan Burch, Scott Prince, Sarah Smith Hymes and Jake Wolf.
The issue: The Man of the Cliff fall festival at Nottingham Park.
Who they talked to: Festival organizer Adam Williams, Avon special events supervisor Danita Dempsey.
What they said: Man of the Cliff’s attendance at its Nottingham Park debut in 2014 was a total of 2,200, Dempsey told the council.
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“And the majority of those people came on Saturday, because Sunday was a bust with the weather,” she said. “If we had beautiful weather on Sunday, who knows what those numbers would have looked like?”
Williams agreed, confirmed that every dollar raised off the event goes to First Descents and said event organizers were thrilled they were able to make a successful event based off one day of activities.
“It was probably the third-highest year on average,” Williams told the council. “(The 2014 donation to First Descents) was just shy of $6,000. There were a couple of years where we skimped by with minimal expenses, and we were able to make just over a $10,000 donation, but … we’re really glad to be standing here again this year talking about another event in a fantastic location.”
Fancher said as the event is only in its second year in Avon, she thinks the town needs to continue to provide seed money to ensure its success.
“I would personally like to meet their full funding request (of $7,000),” she said, adding “If this is going to be a signature event in the park, it should own a weekend, wherever that weekend may be.”
How they voted: Unanimous in favor of providing $7,000 seed money to Man of the Cliff for its 2015 event.
What’s next: Williams said he would like a few more weeks to look at weather patterns and talk to the Great American Beer Festival organizers before deciding on a date, but it will likely be a weekend between the end of September and Mid-October.
The issue: A draft of an intergovernmental agreement with the town of Avon and the Eagle River Fire and Protection District for a joint fire and police station. The document would contain terms of a loan not to exceed $830,000 from the town of Avon to the fire district to be paid back over five years with semi-annual payments of 10 percent of the amount. It would also put in writing the idea that Avon and the fire district will diligently design the facility and cooperate on determining the optimum programing, financing and construction terms.
Who they talked to: Eric Heil, Avon town attorney; Markian Feduschak, Walking Mountains Science Center president.
What they said: Heil said he thinks it is important for council and the fire district to have realistic goals and expectations about the design process and what is to be built.
“It’s a rough concept at this point and the design has ranged anything from something modest as a replacement to the existing station that could house a ladder truck, to something more of a regional facility that would serve the area for the next 40 to 50 years and would most likely exceed the stated budget that they have at the fire district of $400,000 per year,” Heil said.
Feduschak reminded the council that the entrance to this project is the same entrance to Walking Mountains Science Center, which paid over six figures to facilitate its construction.
“So when I start hearing about design process, I just ask that we be included in that conversation since we will be impacted by traffic, we’re very concerned about pedestrian flow and what activities will be taking place,” he said.
Burch said she would like to see initial dollars spent on hiring a third party to help gather public input.
“This is such a major undertaking with a lot of public dollars, it needs a lot of public input that town staff and fire district staff don’t have time gather in a way a contracted person would,” she said. “A third party (owner’s rep) could also bring expertise from doing similar projects in other communities, so I feel that would be a critical step and initial dollars be spent there.”
Reynolds said he thinks Nexcore Group, which is meeting with Avon’s planning and zoning commission on Tuesday regarding plans to enter into development of the lot adjacent to the proposed fire-police project, could be looked at as an owner’s rep.
Fancher said both Avon and the fire district want to see the joint public safety facility built.
Prince suggested a better collateral than the fire district’s suggestion of their ladder truck should be offered.
“Why aren’t we a joint owner of the land, since we’re essentially paying half of the purchase price?” he asked.
What’s next?: As the agreement draft evolves, Heil will incorporate the council’s suggestions into it. Heil suggested a goal date of April 28 for finalizing the document.
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