Vail Valley Voices: What about the view of Vail’s sewer plant?
Editor’s note: The following is an excerpt from the Vail Homeowners Association monthly report for June. We plan to publish weekly excerpts from the association, which keeps a close eye on economic and political trends in and outside of the town. The newsletter electronic version with links to supporting documents is available at http://www.vailhomeowners.com.The upscale, trendy, urbane green image portrayed for the proposed Ever Vail town center falls flat on its face when looking at what the view will be from the project’s central plaza. The view would feature Vail’s sewer-treatment plant. After years of reviewing the project, officials agree it is a major problem, but nothing has been resolved and the project is seeking final approvals from the town of Vail. The plant is owned and operated by the Eagle River Water & Sanitation District, not by the town of Vail. Some town officials say it’s not their problem and market forces will provide the solution. Yet it is the town’s responsibility to make sure the development is both an operational and economic success. Otherwise, why bother with going through the motions of reviewing the proposal? It would seem the Town Council has both the power and the responsibility to cause this problem to be solved as a condition of approval. The developer, Vail Resorts, has been in ongoing discussions with Water & Sanitation District officials, who say they’re willing to do something but it is Vail Resorts that has to pay for whatever is done. However, it is reported, if the nearly 40-year-old plant were upgraded to the latest state-of-the-art technology, extending its life for another 50 years, the district may be willing to participate in covering some of the cost to integrate the plant within the bowels of the Ever Vail development.Colorado ballot amendment would give voter rights to nonresident property owners: However, according to proponents, the purpose of this citizen-initiated amendment, which will be on November’s election ballot, is to protect homeowners from abusive property taxes. Electors may vote on property taxes where they own real property. Legislative analysts are unsure if this provision will apply to property owners who are not American citizens. Among a host of other provisions, the proposed citizen Amendment 60 would allow property owners to petition for an election to lower property taxes. However, opponents say that many of the provisions could hamstring government finances. A second ballot item is citizen Amendment 61, which would limit state and local government debt with what critics say will be a similar effect on government finances. One provision would limit local government’s debt to 10 percent of the assessed taxable value of the real property in the jurisdiction. The Vail Town Council was briefed by its bond counsel concerning the implication of both amendments. Some analysts see the citizen amendments as a limitation on government and their lenders in reaction to economic and related conditions in Colorado and the nation.