Vail to issue $12.5 million in bonds
Vail CO Colorado
VAIL, Colorado – The Vail Town Council, acting as the Vail Reinvestment Authority, approved a resolution Tuesday night to issue bonds “not to exceed” $12.5 million in order to fund projects in Lionshead over the next three years.
The town will repay the debt with tax-increment financing revenue over the next 20 years.
The decision has been in the making since the summer, when town Finance Director Judy Camp told Vail Town Council members that three statewide ballot initiatives in November could affect the town’s future ability to borrow money for intended improvement projects.
The decision is part of the town of Vail’s original goals for establishing the Vail Reinvestment Authority, Mayor Dick Cleveland said.
The Vail Reinvestment Authority was created after a task force of council members, property owners and Vail Resorts representatives looked at ways to finance public improvements in Lionshead in 2002 and 2003. The recommendation was tax-increment financing through the Lionshead Tax Increment Financing District, which now has 25 years remaining to bond and spend the available funds for Lionshead-specific public improvement projects.
A lot of private infrastructure has been improved, remodeled and rebuilt in the area, Camp said, adding that the bonds will now allow the town to complete its part of the improvements.
Projects include the completion of the Lionshead Transit and Welcome centers; West Lionshead portal improvements; East Lionshead portal improvements, such as a heated paver plaza, bus shelter, landscaping and public art; surface parking on the charter bus lot at the Lionshead parking structure; and a first-phase remodel of the Vail Public Library.
Camp presented a bond amount for more than $17 million Tuesday night that council members weren’t comfortable with – an amount that included more than they are willing to commit to for the East Lionshead portal improvements and a second phase for a library remodel.
The town chipped the number down to $12 million for projects and decided to fund a required reserve fund for the bonds with cash rather than through bond financing.
“Since you have cash available, I would recommend you use cash for that reserve fund,” Camp told council members.
The total interest cost is 4.2 percent, a result of combining tax-exempt bonds with taxable Build America bonds to minimize interest.
Cleveland said the decision has no impact on existing taxpayers because of the tax-increment financing.
The town will see benefits from the projects for the next 30 years, he said.
“The incremental costs are, I think, perfectly acceptable and reasonable,” Cleveland said.
Community Editor Lauren Glendenning can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.