Letter: Avon has some explaining to do
Avon is a peculiar town. Saddled by the bad flow created by horrible planning early in its inception, it has tried hard to make its lemonade out of the lemons it was handed decades ago. As a resident of EagleVail, a good portion of my family’s daily sales tax spend drips into Avon’s coffers through the portals of the grocery stores, liquor stores, restaurants and other retail outlets.
As such, I watch with interest, but without a voice, as the town navigates through the process of finding its real identity, sometimes like an AP honors student with clear direction and intense focus, and other times like that honor student’s cousin who has gone off to college with almost no direction, a swollen trust fund, and an appetite for tequila. For the most part, no real harm is done when missteps are made. Project budgets might go Chernobyl, but nobody really gets hurt. In the end, the town generally moves forward, slightly better than before.
Over the winter, however, I watched with a bit of bewilderment as a contractor, presumably hired by the town, picked and moved rocks again in the bed of the Eagle River underneath Bob the Bridge. This seems to be something the town monkeys with every few years in an attempt to add a play wave to their list of amenities it can dangle in front of potential travelers to entice them to choose this place to spend their lodging and dining dollars.
In doing so, they have created a very dangerous and scary mess on the Eagle River. What was a challenging couple of waves before has been transformed into a nasty recirculating hole that spans the width of the river. They have altered the river in a way that has left experienced boaters choosing to not run what was before a very fun and beautiful section of the Eagle River above the bridge, instead choosing to put on the river using the third-rate boat ramp below their new mess.
I am not sure what process was applied to designing and creating this new deathtrap, but I am offended that the town would be so seemingly casual in its willingness to negatively impact a group of river users that extends well beyond its immediate constituents. Trying to keep up with their downriver neighbors, they have allowed the river to be altered carelessly and dangerously. Proper design and execution were left to those other municipalities, apparently. In perhaps the best late-season boating conditions in several years, they have taken it upon themselves to endanger the lives of river users.
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The town of Avon owes the community of river users in this valley and explanation of how and why this happened and what they intend to do to fix it.