Vail Daily letter: Bad for Eagle |

Vail Daily letter: Bad for Eagle

Chris Mech
Eagle, CO, Colorado

2040. Maybe as soon as 2035. Somewhere in there is when Eagle will be able to begin keeping the 4 percent sales tax from Silverthorne West (aka, Eagle River Station). And all they’ll have to do is lay back and give “big RED” what he wants.

This sounds good to Jon Stavney, who voted to designate the site as “blighted.” (“Green horse pastures in Eagle? Right where people can see them? That’s blight!”)

I’ve read Jon’s recent opinion piece, as well as the one from the Eagle trustees (or, I should say, those of them who are not professional land planners) and here’s what I didn’t hear: “We have studies that show that the demand is truly there for another half million square feet of commercial and 600 “lifestyle” units.”

They just talked about the money, and then Stavney started with the fearmongering. Apparently, Eagle is doomed to a future of “guns, pot and porn” if this monstrosity is not approved. Sounds pretty objective, eh?

Since Jon is a county commissioner, it would seem that he would be against the massive tax breaks built into the proposal. That’s right, all town collected county taxes, except the fire district and rec district, are waived. This project won’t fund the library or anything else at the county level.

The opinion pieces by the aforementioned proponents list Eagle’s needed improvements. I see this as a chicken-and-egg scenario. Were these all top-priority projects before the prospect of Silverthorne West, or did they become such as the possibility of upfront fees came into play?

That money is burning a hole in their pocket before they even get it. No doubt the list of “must-have” projects will grow to absorb whatever cash comes in. It sounds like the town has not considered any funding scenarios except this project.

Please consider what happens if the wise people of Eagle vote “no.” The developer, with $19 million invested, will be forced to return with a new proposal. And this one would presumably use 2010 sales projections instead of the 2005-06 numbers they’re now clinging to. They’ll also have to sweeten the pot for the town.

For 150 years, Eagle has survived two world wars, a depression and many recessions.

The deciders, with a clear bias toward the developer, are singing a swan song of big-box big bucks and peddling fear and scare tactics for those who dare to question them. They sell Eagle short because they don’t want to tighten their belts.

I’ve lived in and around Eagle since Jon Jon (Asper) was bartending at the Diamond J and hope to move my family there to stay. I hope there’s some of the old Eagle left when I get there!

Americans just got shafted by the health-care bill, which was rammed through a corrupt Congress and was basically written by the insurance and pharmaceutical companies. The average citizen had no chance of stopping it. Fortunately, the citizens of Eagle are not so powerless.

Chris Mech


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