Vail Daily letter: Where funds flow |

Vail Daily letter: Where funds flow

Fredric Butler
Vail, CO, Colorado

If the TIGER funds application by the town of Eagle does not presage an approval vote for Eagle River Station, then I would assume that there is another good reason for the push for these monies.

If the town trustees were looking for more and better access to Eagle, and to ameliorate the extant traffic on Eby Creek Road, then they would opt for an interchange west of Eby Creek Road. East simply does not make sense, if this is the rationale.

If the town of Eagle wants the interchange to the east of Eagle in order to provide for the future expansion of the Eagle commercial core in general on the 88 acres of RED, then even if RED does not develop the parcel itself, the value of its land holdings there is enhanced and increased by the new improvements (interchange), fomenting a better development package for its resale at taxpayers’ sole cost and expense.

Ergo, RED benefits at taxpayer expense by the new east interchange whether it develops the property or not, since such interchange would inure to its benefit, and it alone.

RED is starting to look more like AIG, Goldman Sacks, GM or BOA, only on a much smaller scale. If the TIGER deal is pulled off by it to the east of Eagle, we would all have learned a “Bernanke lesson”: It pays to have connections with the proper authorities!

Eagle does not have the prospective sales tax potential as Gypsum, and the only lands from which it can derive such future revenues is that owned by RED. So the town and RED are both looking in concert for future revenue, the former via tax, and the latter via profits.

The taxpayer is looking to cut spending, whether it is in the from of TARP or TIGER funds. If the taxpayer loses in this scenario, RED wins either by way of development or sale of its property as improved by the interchange.

To put it in more prosaic terms, the taxpayer has a TIGER by the tail, and RED has the key to its cage!

Somehow, I always feel like lunch in these instances.

Fredric Butler

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