Vail Town Council approves creek plan
Board: Vail Town Council, March 15 afternoon and evening meetings.
Present: Kevin Foley, Greg Moffet, Jenn Bruno, Jen Mason, Kim Langmaid, Mayor Dave Chapin.
Issue: Resolution approving the Restore the Gore cleanup plan for Gore Creek.
How they voted: 5-1, with Moffet opposed.
Who they talked to: Vail Environmental Sustainability Manager Kristen Bertuglia.
What they talked about: The vote put the Town Council’s stamp of approval on a five-year plan to help clean up Gore Creek. The creek in early 2012 was put on a list of “impaired” streams by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.
The plan comes with a hefty price tag: More than $9 million. That was the basis of Moffet’s opposition.
“I don’t feel like we’re showing the right kind of discipline,” Moffet said. “It’s like a patient with a first-time diagnosis of cancer scheduling surgery, radiation and chemotherapy all at once. I think we’re being extravagant.”
Bertuglia said the main targets of the plan — repairing riparian areas, stormwater improvements and education — are well defined, adding that the creek is studied every year.
“We’d see just about immediately whether we’re reducing the pollutant load,” Bertuglia said.
With roughly $2 million budgeted for projects and education this year, Moffet and other council members questioned the need for a full-time employee for education efforts. Town Manager Stan Zemler assured council members that the position is for two years only.
What’s next: Work will begin this year on improvements to the town’s stormwater drainage systems. Work will also continue on repairs to some of the town’s riparian areas — areas adjacent to the stream.
The ultimate goal, which will probably take several years, is improving the creek’s population of small insects. Those are the basis for the rest of the aquatic life in the creek.
Issue: Future air service.
Who brought it up: Moffet.
What they talked about: Moffet, told other council members that Allegiant Airlines has reversed a previous decision to bring flights from the San Francisco Bay area to the Eagle County Regional Airport for the 2016-’17 ski season. Moffet said the EGE Air Alliance has now turned its attention to other markets including Washington D.C. and Charlotte, North Carolina.
Issue: A noise berm near the Bald Mountain Townhomes.
Who they talked to: Townhome residents, who urged the town to take action to finish a noise berm in East Vail.
What’s next: Work on the berm will continue this year, and the Bald Mountain Townhomes may see some action.