Vail Valley Voices: Will Vail reserves erode?
Vail, CO, Colorado
Editor’s note: The following is an excerpt from the Vail Homeowners Association monthly report. We 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.vail
Heretofore, the town of Vail, with the exception of a potential pending $6 million call on a letter of credit to cover the devaluation of its overvalued purchase of the Timber Ridge affordable housing complex, hasn’t needed to dip into its substantial financial reserves generated by Vail Renaissance projects to offset their emerging impacts.
The Town Council is now taking steps to draw from its reserves by funding a new municipal building.
Some elected officials also have other “gleam-in-the-eye” projects like a community swimming pool. These are being given attention, whereas planning for other capital improvement projects that may be needed to offset the emerging impacts on the town’s infrastructure from Renaissance projects have yet to be given adequate consideration.
Soul searching in order: The town could spend down its reserves faster than sales taxes could replenish them. For the foreseeable future, there are those who believe Vail can no longer depend on new development and real estate sales to replenish its reserves as rapidly as in the past.
There are more dollars to be spent in moving the Vail Valley Medical Center’s traffic circulation from West Meadow Drive to the South Frontage Road, as currently provided for in the town’s master plan.
Concerns are that the town will give the the medical center a pass on these longstanding requirements, including turning a blind eye to other utilitarian improvements through a master planning amendment that would attempt to change the neighborhood’s designation from residential to commercial.
Other changes would open the way for a helicopter landing pad to be placed near residences. Each of these changes has over the years been strongly opposed by the neighborhood; recent feedback on the proposed medical center-town project show that attitudes have not changed.
Misc.: Eagle County foreclosures for 2012 are running even with the last two years. Bank sales are the most pronounced in the Eagle-Gypsum market and are causing property values in western Eagle County to continue to decline. Analysts say that until jobs come back there won’t be many buyers in the downvalley market. Eagle County unemployment rates have been on the decline, but the job numbers are static.