Term limits remain for special district | VailDaily.com

Term limits remain for special district

Cliff Thompson

VAIL ” In extremely light turnout, voters Tuesday overwhelmingly kept term limits in place for board members of the Eagle River Water and Sanitation District, which serves 22,000 residents in the eastern half of Eagle County.

With 249 votes cast ” just 2 percent of 13,700 eligible voters ” voters decided 152-97 to keep term limits in place. In a typical water board election about 900 voters ” about 6 percent ” participate, district officials said.

The proposal had been placed on the ballot because four board veterans, Hawkeye Flaherty, Pat Dauphinais, Kent Rose and Rick Sackbauer will be term-limited in 2006, and board members feared losing their experience in dealing with complicated water issues, board members said. The water and sewer board is typically a developer-dominated board.

Board members meet monthly to determine water and sewer policy for the water and sanitation District. Term limits that prohibit elected officials from serving more than two consecutive terms in office were added as an amendment to the Colorado Constitution in 1995.

“The results were decisive,” said Leslie Isom, election official for the district. “It means electors are comfortable with term limits.”

The vote gave board members an indication of what needs to be done, said Rick Sackbauer, board chairman.

“It’s good to know,” he said. “Now we can plan for the transition. There are lots of exciting things going on.”

Wolcott election

A second, and much smaller vote occurred in Wolcott where 10 voters unanimously approved joining the water and sewer district. A total of 19 homeowners were eligible to participate in the district inclusion election, Isom said. By voting to join, they are eligible to receive water and sewer service from the district, which will be developing a plan to serve the area.

The district has purchased land to build a new sewer plant in Wolcott to handle the growth expected in the mid-valley area. That plant and the water and sewer lines needed to connect it to the system won’t be built for several years, Isom said.

Those joining the district will pay more taxes. It is estimated the owner of a home valued at $500,000 will pay an additional $14.15 per year in taxes.

Staff Writer Cliff Thompson can be reached at 949-0555, ext. 450, or cthompson@vaildaily.com.

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