Vail gives go-ahead to scaled-back budget |

Vail gives go-ahead to scaled-back budget

VAIL, Colorado ” Expressing concerns about a struggling economy, the town of Vail gave preliminary approval to a scaled-back 2009 budget Tuesday.

“It just seems right in line with what needs to be done,” said Mark Gordon, a councilman.

The budget predicts the town will see 5.7 percent less revenue next year. Sales tax collections will be flat, and real-estate-transfer tax collection will be down, according to projections.

Councilman Andy Daly suggested reducing a proposed 6 percent hike in pay and benefits for town employees.

“I can guarantee you that no one (else) in the community is getting a 6 percent adjustment,” Daly said.

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Other council members disagreed, saying they wanted Vail to remain competitive as an employer, and they gave preliminary approval to the 6 percent increase.

“I don’t think it would be beneficial to the town for us to keep losing key employees,” said Councilman Farrow Hitt.

Last month, the town cut 9 percent, or about $5 million, out of the budget because of concerns about the economy.

On Tuesday, Daly voted against the proposed $51.1 million budget, saying it wasn’t conservative enough. The vote was 5-1, with Councilwoman Margaret Rogers absent.

Final approval for the budget could come later this month.

The town will also spend more toward marketing skiing for the coming year out of its 2008 budget. The town agreed earlier in the day to use about $550,000 from a $1.9 surplus it collected over the past year toward extra marketing for the ski resort this season. The town’s marketing district will use the funds to send mailers to season-pass holders and buy radio, newspaper and online ads directed toward the Front Range.

Staff Writer Edward Stoner can be reached at 970-748-2929 or

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