Vail Town Council OKs test period for e-bikes |

Vail Town Council OKs test period for e-bikes

Board: Vail Town Council, Tuesday afternoon and evening meetings.

Present: Kevin Foley, Greg Moffet, Jenn Bruno, Kim Langmaid, Jen Mason, Dick Cleveland, Mayor Dave Chapin.

Issue: An ordinance approving a test period that allows electric-assist bicycles on town recreation paths.

How they voted: 7-0 to approve.

What it does: The ordinance, which requires one more reading before final approval, allows bicycles with battery-assist motors to operate legally on town recreation paths. The motors can’t be used in Vail Village or Lionshead Village, or around the Vail Nature Center and the Betty Ford Alpine Gardens.

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What they talked about: While other council members supported the idea, Cleveland expressed concern that tourists would use the battery-powered bike irresponsibly, making already well-used paths less safe.

What’s next: Expect a second reading at the June 21 meeting. Until then, since it’s virtually impossible to enforce an existing ban on the bikes, be discreet.

Issue: Meeting with Eagle County Schools officials.

Who they talked to: District Superintendent Jason Glass, planner Tom Braun and others.

What they talked about: District officials laid out their rationale for asking voters this fall for a pair of tax issues, one to finance a bond, the other a straight mill levy increase. District officials are pitching the measure as necessary to relieve what Braun called a “massive” list of needed maintenance items at all the district’s 17 schools.

The approximately $140 million bond issue would fund repairs, improvements an expansion at most of the schools in the western valley, with $11 million set aside for a big renovation project at Red Sandstone Elementary School.

The work at Red Sandstone Elementary School would fund projects including adding group work areas, a gym and cafeteria and a secure entry, as well as numerous “behind the scenes” improvements.

Bruno asked the district representatives what happens if voters don’t approve the tax increases.

Glass said building improvements wouldn’t be funded, fewer teachers would be hired, and shortages would persist in special areas including foreign languages, art and music.

What’s next: The Eagle County School Board is expected to vote next week on the first step toward putting the measure on the fall ballot.

Issue: Will Vail impose a traffic impact fee?

Who they talked to: Town engineer Tom Kassmel and consultant Carson Bise.

What they talked about: Bise spent a good bit of time talking about various ways of imposing fees on new development in order to fund road improvements — money from an impact fee can’t be used for repairs.

What’s next: Town officials will work on a study.

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