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New pool, tennis courts for Eagle-Vail?

Melanie Wong
Vail, CO Colorado
Dominique Taylor/Vail DailyA sign urges support for a ballot question asking residents to keep paying the same property tax rate to upgrade Eagle-Vail's tennis courts, swimming pool, trail system and golf course.
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EAGLE-VAIL ” Eagle-Vail residents may be able to swim at the community pool again next summer if voters this November agree to keep paying the same amount of property taxes.

The pool was closed this August due to disrepair, but the neighborhood board hopes to build a new pool, four new tennis courts, a pedestrian trail, and fix up parts of the golf course next summer.

The more than $2.5 million in improvements would be funded by keeping the unincorporated neighborhood’s mill levy, or property-tax rate, the same. If the ballot issue, or referendum 5A, is voted down, the current tax rate will expire as the district’s debt is paid off.

Right now residents pay $119 per $100,000 of home value, said district accountant Ken Marchetti.

Property values of Eagle-Vail homes increased almost 43 percent from last year, so keeping the same tax rate would bring in more money without actually raising the rate, said Kim Ahmad, manager of operations for the Eagle-Vail Metropolitan District, which oversees the recreation facilities.

All Eagle-Vail homeowners who are registered to vote in Colorado can vote. The mail ballots should arrive no later than Oct. 22.

“Everything in Eagle-Vail right now is about 30 years old and has basically lived it’s life,” said Louise Funk, Eagle-Vail resident and a member of the neighborhood group supporting the issue.

The pool has many cracks and is leaking water, Ahmad said.

“It’s unstable and structurally unsound. It’s actually a danger,” she said.

A new, 6-lane, Olympic-sized pool and a baby pool would cost between $1.5 million and $2 million, she said.

The renovation plans would also include replacing the neighborhood’s four tennis courts with new, specialized hard courts, and building new offices and restrooms, Ahmad said.

Other improvements include completion of the neighborhood trail system, and repairs to the golf course and events pavilion.

There could also be improvements to the clubhouse and playgrounds in the future if funds allow, Funk said.

She is supporting the referendum because the recreational facilities are what make Eagle-Vail a unique neighborhood, she said.

“We’re not a privatized resort. Our golf course, our swimming pool, are all public. We’re not country-club people,” she said.

Stephen Harlow, who has lived in the neighborhood for 12 years, said he is going to vote for the referendum.

“I think it’s important. I use the parks, and my wife uses the pool,” he said.

Even if the ballot issue involved a tax increase, resident Gary Margot said he would probably vote for it even though he doesn’t use the recreation facilities.

“I would support beneficial recreation for people around here. That’s what we’re all about here, right?” Margot said.

Staff Writer Melanie Wong can be reached at 748-2928 or mwong@vaildaily.com.


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