Voters approve Eagle River Station
EAGLE, Colorado – Voters approved the controversial Eagle River Station plan Tuesday, two years after they rejected an earlier version of the project.In the final tally, 1,247 people voted “yes,” while 1,022 voted “no.”Eagle River Station is a commercial/residential project proposed by Trinity RED Development headquartered in Kansas City, Mo. The 88-acre site is located south of Interstate 70 and north of U.S. Highway 6 on the east end of Eagle. The Eagle River Station proposal would include 582,000 square feet of commercial space and 250 rental units in its first phase. A second phase calls for up to 150,000 square feet of additional commercial space and another 300 rental units.Voters rejected an earlier version of the proposal in a January 2010 vote.The Eagle River Station battle has been furiously fought in the Eagle community this spring following a 6-1 vote by the Eagle Town Board on March 27 to approve the project. Yard signs have popped up all over town and spirited debate has been launched on both pro and con Facebook pages. Nearly 1,400 people had already voted on the Eagle River Station plan before the polls even opened in Eagle Tuesday morning.And then business at the Eagle Town Hall polling place remained steady throughout the day, swelling to a crescendo by 5 p.m. when citizens came to vote after finishing their work day.Because of Colorado’s mail-in ballot provisions, 1,720 ballots were mailed out in early May and those ballots, along with the in-person votes, had to be counted by hand after the polling place closed at 7 p.m.On Tuesday afternoon, most of the approximately 20 residents contacted regarding their vote declined comment on the matter. Those who agreed to agreed to share their reasoning requested to do so anonymously.An Eagle mother with two preschool age children said she voted yes. “I really was going to vote no, but I thought what does Eagle really have to lose?” she said “Gypsum has Costco and Eagle is in a slump.”Another voter – a male resident of the community for 10 years – said he also voted yes. “I am pro money. I like having funding and I like progressiveness. Let’s go for it.”A woman who has lived in Eagle for 11 years and for many more years in the valley was also a yes.”I voted yes because I think our towns needs the sales tax money to help with infrastructure. It’s a great opportunity for Eagle and we can all benefit from it,” she said.On the other side of the issue, a long-time Eagle couple said they were casting no votes. Even though he is a building trades professional, the man said he couldn’t support the ERS proposal. “I think it’s the wrong project at the wrong time and I don’t see the residential or commercial need at this time, especially with so many empty storefronts in town and so many homes going into foreclosure.””We think the town should consider a casino. An old fashioned type of casino,” offered his wife. “It may sound crazy but that’s what we think should happen.”
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