RV park makes the Minturn ballot
November ballot just got a little bit longer for Minturn residents. The Town Council approved a resolution by a 5-1 vote Wednesday night that will allow voters to decide if a recreational vehicle resort should be built in Minturn. Mayor Hawkeye Flaherty was absent from the meeting. Councilman Tom Sullivan cast the sole vote against the measure.While several audience members at the council meeting still don’t seem sold on the proposed resort, tenatively named Eagle River Centennial Resort, there is little risk by putting the issue to a vote of the people, supporters of the resolution argued”Even if the vote passes, and puts us in a position to talk to these people, it can still be killed in council,” said Councilman George Brodin.
The controversial development utlimately is contingent on approval by the town council. But the developer, Rocky Mountain RV Resorts, will only proceed if Minturn residents approve the idea – largely because the developer was threatened with a lawsuit by Sullivan if the project was built without the electorate’s approval. “The last thing we want to do is go through this process, have lots of money invested and then all of a sudden something comes up with a lawsuit,” said Skip Ahren of Rocky Mountain RV Resorts. “That’s the reason why it should be on the ballot. If not, we’re not interested in going further.”In fact, the resort company would be limited in pursuing the project further. Vail Resorts has a deed restriction on part of the land on the site, located on Minturn’s south side. The resort company will not release that deed restriction until the town’s residents approve the development, said Pam Bard, also with the development company. Projected financial revenues submitted by the developer, Rocky Mountain RV Resorts, show the town collecting more than $3 million in revenues over 10 years. That alone is driving some support for the project. Town officials warn that the town’s stagnant revenues could lead to problems in the future.”At this point, we can’t even afford to get water to that side of the river (where the RV park would be),” said Jay Brunvand, the town’s treasurer.
Local resident Pete Vance said he wants more information about the town’s finances before voting on the RV park in November. “Do we really need this thing?” Vance said. Sullivan, who cast the sole vote against putting the idea on the ballot, wants portions of the developer’s proposal on the ballot so residents have a better idea of the financial outlook of the project. But doing so would prevent the council from negotiating the proposal after the election, said Councilman Fred Haslee. Rocky Mountain RV Resorts’ current proposal calls for about 75 RV sites, 32 cabins and two larger, “family” cabins. The current proposal also includes a recreation center and community pavilion that could be used by town residents.
It’s up to the residents to determine if the proposal is a good one or not, said Councilman Jerry Bumgarner.Staff Writer Tamara Miller can be reached at 949-0555, ext. 607 or at firstname.lastname@example.org Vail, Colorado