Letter: Make your voice count, Avon | VailDaily.com

Letter: Make your voice count, Avon

I’m writing this letter to residents of the Town of Avon to publicly express my opinion regarding the current barn proposal, which will be presented at the Avon Town Council Meeting on Tuesday at 5 p.m. at the Avon Town Hall. Firstly, I’d like to express that it is imperative that all concerned Avon taxpayers show up and let their voices be heard. At the last council meeting there were considerably more citizens speaking out for using taxpayer money to save the barn than were against.

I agree that preserving our history is important to our community, but I do not agree to the tune of $6million+++ of taxpayer money. I think the barn should be disassembled for future use and stored in order to buy time to privately raise the funding needed to rebuild or repurpose it. To facilitate storing the barn temporarily we could request to utilize funds that Eagle River Water and Sanitation has slated for demolition of the barn, $36K. The remaining funds should be raised via donations from individuals or groups wanting to save the barn. This money would pay to disassemble and move the barn components to a location where it could be housed free of charge on Town of Avon Property. The ownership of the barn should then be transferred to the Avon Historic Preservation Committee for the future reassembly or sale of the barn. The Town of Avon should not take ownership of the barn, which is currently owned by the Eagle River and Sanitation District.

It would be fiscally irresponsible to burden Avon Taxpayers with ownership of the barn and all costs associated with it now and into the future. Again, I realize and appreciate its historic value, but we could better use the millions on workforce housing, an identified area of great need in our community, or a plethora of other priorities listed in Avon’s Strategic Plan.

Spending this amount of money needs to be voted on by the taxpayers. Voting on it would not set any new precedence. We as a town have been down this path before. I realize I’ve been voted into public office in order to make these difficult decisions, but I feel as though our council of seven cannot make a clear and unbiased decision on the barn. The voters need a chance to cast their ballots in favor or against funding the barn project.

There are potentially better uses for our hard-earned tax dollars like using the money to enrich, repair and maintain our community assets. Doing so will enhance the healthy lifestyle for which we all moved to Avon.

In Avon, we need to focus our attention on things we actually need. Fire mitigation and an emergency exit from the Wildridge Neighborhood is a safety concern and needs to be built and funded. This project needs to have priority.

We need to fix, maintain and improve on what we already have like the Avon Recreation Center. We need to consider repair and replacing many aspects of the infrastructure at the recreation center, as well as an expansion.

The use of the old Avon Town Hall Site should also be carefully considered. We should not rush into building anything on that site until all options have been thoroughly reviewed. A strong return on investment needs to be a priority for the use of this land.

I am asking you to rally and let your voices and opinions be heard at Tuesday’s 5 p.m. Avon Town Council meeting. Please let the council and mayor know how you really feel. It’s imperative and truly the only thing that works! Your words and thoughts count. Please show up!! Your town needs your input.

Chico Thuon

Avon Town Councilman