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‘No’ on Eagle sales tax

The town of Eagle has proposed raising our sales tax by up to 0.5 percent to put toward a Riverfront water park at the current Fairgrounds truck parking area. I agree 100 percent that this project would make the entrance to Eagle more attractive and be a nice amenity for the town, but I question the timing of raising sales tax. Adam Palmer wrote a letter in the Thursday paper saying that 60 percent of this sales tax would be paid by visitors that come to Eagle and not the residents. Mr. Palmer, I would question that. If City Market is the largest contributor of our sales tax in town, then how do you think that 60 percent would be raised by tourists? I am not sure about everyone else, but have you seen the cost of food already? I know that I spend a lot of money shopping for food at the City Market in Eagle and know that an additional tax will certainly increase my already high food bill. Then imagine that we actually go out to eat — there is another increase. Why would I stay in Eagle to eat anymore? Maybe I should just take that money and sales tax and drive to Edwards and pay less in sales tax. I am thinking that could save me money since the cost of gas is so low. Oh yes, the cost of gas is extremely low, and what are most economists predicting because of this? Yes, another recession is heading our way. So let’s raise taxes and the cost of living in Eagle during a down economy because that is a great idea. Again, may I ask what the town of Eagle is thinking?

Let’s bring a Riverfront water park because that will bring visitors like it does in Salida, Durango, Buena Vista, Golden and even Glenwood Springs. The thought process is that this type of park is successful in these towns, but these towns have one thing that Eagle does not have nor will ever have — they are destination resorts! People go to these locations for the river parks and water parks because there are other amenities to enjoy as well. Eagle will be in direct competition with Glenwood Springs, and how do you think it will fare? Glenwood Springs has many more amenities to offer a tourist, such as hot springs, more dining options, more shopping options and of course more activities all around, plus their sales tax is lower — only 8.6 percent not the new 8.90 percent for the town of Eagle.

I urge you all to say “no” to the sales tax increase in the town of Eagle on the April ballot. We can’t afford it; not with the uncertainty of the economy and not with a project that will not bring in more money. The project can be funded by many other options, such as grants. So if you still want the project, then work on the grants and other revenue sources — don’t take the easy way out and increase sales tax. Not at this time!

Kathy Calton


Preventable incident

Regarding the article from the Vail Daily that appeared in the Summit Daily last month: It is our opinion that the sheep rancher should have been paid for his sheep that were lost to predators after this entirely preventable and tragic incident understandably caused him to stop using sheep-herding guard dogs.

His working dogs lost their lives for doing their job, one of which “was old, arthritic and losing its teeth.” The financial worth of his lost sheep and working dogs should have been withheld from the settlement and paid directly to him, although, in the most just manner, this should come from the victim’s liability insurance and not the rancher’s.

Raising sheep is (was?) his livelihood. No intelligent person, or anyone with a shred of common sense, rides a bike through a herd of sheep or a herd of anything. To lose over a quarter of his sheep to predators the year following had to have been quite the financial blow.

Why weren’t the race organizers held accountable for not notifying this rancher long enough in advance to move his herd? Is it not their responsibility to ensure a safe race? Two days of race prep going on is no advance notice at all, whether seen by the shepherds or the rancher himself. We have, when traveling rural roads, encountered sheep being moved and it’s not fast. You sit in your vehicle and wait. They’re not on wheels — they walk.

It’s a shame that legal aid from the Animal Legal Defense Fund for this case was not sought immediately. If so, there might have been a different outcome. This incident and its outcome seven years hence surely is, as one Vail Daily online poster wrote, “a stain on the community.”

Nancy Morey

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