May ballot question receives initial OK from Avon council
AVON — The Town Council voted unanimously Tuesday in favor of sending the town’s new police station to the ballot, a loan that would not exceed $6.5 million.
Annual loans for about $415,000, or certificate of participation bonds, would be the funding mechanism used to build the new police station, if approved by voters. As those loans are annually renewed, they don’t require voter approval, but as the town has had trouble gaining community support in certificate of participation financing in the past, they will seek an election this time around. It’s scheduled for May 3. Tuesday’s approval by the council was the first reading; two readings and a public hearing are required to send the issue to the ballot. The second reading and public hearing are expected to occur at the council’s next meeting on March 8.
The current ballot language reads as follows.
“Without raising any taxes, shall ordinance No. 16.02 be approved and shall the Avon Town Council thereby be authorized to use certificate of participation financing, with a principal amount not to exceed $6.5 million, to construct a new police station facility in accordance with the terms of ordinance No. 16-02?”
CONTRACTOR IS EVANS CHAFFEE
The new police station would be constructed on land in the Buck Creek area of town near Walking Mountains Science Center and the Northside Cafe. The plan is to make the police station a joint public safety facility along with an adjacent fire station in the same complex, Avon is working on the plan with the Eagle River Fire and Protection District, which is also asking voters to approve financing in May in a separate election. Both elections need to see a “yes” vote from voters in order to see the joint public safety facility constructed.
Evans Chaffee Construction Group and Davis Partnership Architects helped the town determine that $6.5 million will complete the police station, town engineer Justin Hildreth told the council on Tuesday.
“Evans Chaffee Construction Group is the contractor and they solicited bids from over 100 subcontractors in all the trades,” Hildreth told the council.
COULD OK POLICE WITHOUT FIRE
In 2015, voters in town sent a certificate of participation question to the ballot after the Town Council had approved a decision to use the funding mechanism to pay for a new town hall. The subsequent election overturned the council’s decision.
Calling the election a “no” vote on the total plan, not just the financing, Mayor Jennie Fancher said this time around, she wanted to make sure a certificate of participation financing plan was OK with voters before approving it herself.
If the police station financing receives approval and the fire station does not, then it does authorize Avon to approve certificate of participation financing on a police station in town in a different location, without fire services. An assessment of the Avon undertaken in 2015 by the planning firm Stan Clauson Associates identified Lot 5 in the east Avon area near Wal-Mart and Home Depot as a feasible location for a police department.
“There’s also Swift Gulch,” town-owned land north of I-70, as a possible location for a police station, town manager Virginia Egger told the council on Tuesday.
On Wednesday at 6:15 pm, members of the Avon Town Council will host a community meeting at the Avon Public Library, covering the joint public safety facility, new public parking hours, 2016 capital projects (regional trail, bus shelters), 2016 festivals and special events, Tract G land use proposals, town hall location, West and East Beaver Creek Boulevard walkability design, roundabout 4 art element design, and town website improvements.
Fancher will moderate the meeting, beginning with a short presentation. All residents are welcome to attend, to ask questions and to give comments.