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That water vote

Rick Sackbauer

On May 4, Eagle River Water & Sanitation District will hold its regular election. During that election, electors in the Vail Water Sub-district (East Vail through Vail Intermountain) will consider a ballot question. The ballot question asks whether general obligation debt should be increased by $9,335,000 with Vail Water Sub-district taxes increased up to $1,000,000 annually to pay for Vail Water Sub-district capital projects to be made over the next three years. The Vail Water Sub-district electors are being asked how the costs for these projects should be funded and repaid.

A “yes” vote means that the elector agrees that the costs should be funded through the sale of general obligation bonds, with bond repayments made through a Vail Water Sub-district mill levy increase to all property within the Vail Water Sub-district of 1.11 mills. This tax would result in an increased annual cost of $8.84, for every $100,000 of home value, or $.74 per month per $100,000 of value.



Financing the bond issue through general obligation bonds allows that: (1) all property within the Vail Water Sub-district share in the repayment through the 1.11 mill levy increase; (2) property taxes are tax deductible on State and federal income tax returns; and (3) general obligation debt is issued at a lower interest rate than is revenue debt.

A “no” vote means that the elector disagrees with the proposed funding through the sale of general obligation bonds and increased mill levy. In that case, the Vail Water Sub-district will sell revenue bonds, with bond repayments made through water service charge increases of 20 percent to 25 percent. This would result in an increased annual cost of $68.45 per single family equivalent (sfe), or a monthly cost of $5.70 per sfe. Financing the issue through revenue bonds causes: (1) only the current water users pay; (2) the service charges for residential property are not tax deductible; and (3) the cost will be higher.



The 2004-06 projects to be funded with bond proceeds include the following:

Three years of water distribution system improvements, in Vail, which will replace and, in many cases, upsize 30-plus-year-old water lines, in Vail Village. Cost: $4,200,000.

The construction of the 2,000,000 gallon underground water tank, in West Vail, to improve the operation of the water system and improve fire protection. Cost: $2,000,000.



The district’s portion of the purchase of the 1,250-acre-feet Flat Tops Ranch water rights, which will improve the reliability of the district’s in basin water rights and stream flows. Cost: $1,650,000.

The district’s portion of the 455-acre-foot East Fork Eagle River pump back project to increase yields in Eagle Park Reservoir. Cost: $850,000.

The 125-acre-foot enlargement of Black Lakes Dam to increase water storage in Black Lakes. Cost: $ 400,000.

The funding of a portion of the bond issue cost. Cost: $235,000.

Total Cost: $9,335,000.

An eligible elector for the Vail Water Sub-district ballot question must be registered to vote in general elections in Colorado, and:

n A resident of the Vail Water Sub-district for not less than 30 days; or

n The owner of taxable real or personal property situated within the boundaries of the Vail Water Sub-district; or

n A person who is obligated to pay taxes under a contract to purchase taxable property in the Vail Water Sub-district; or

n The spouse of someone who is the owner of taxable real or personal property within the boundaries of the Vail Water Sub-district.

For more information about the May 4 election, contact Leslie Isom, the designated election official, at 476-7480.

Rick Sackbauer

Chairman, Board of Directors

Eagle River Water & Sanitation District


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