Vail Daily column: It’s an exciting time to be mayor of Avon
There couldn’t be a more exciting time to be the mayor of the town of Avon. There have been so many fantastic improvements made during the past year, by private entities as well as by the town of Avon. These improvements are enhancing the sense of community and putting Avon on the map as a place to spend time shopping, dining, and recreating.
Hoffmann Properties has made significant improvements in East Avon, the new Wyndham is opening soon, enhancements to Avon Road include making it more pedestrian friendly and the new Main Street Mall offers a wonderful, meandering connection to West Avon. One of the most well-received improvements has been the addition of new trails on the West Avon Preserve, bringing hikers and bikers together in collaboration and creating a system that has been enjoyed by all ages and abilities. All in all the buzz has been positive with locals describing the changes as amazing, spectacular and simply impressive.
The grand opening event held on the new Main Street Mall on Dec. 5 was fantastic. The event included a winter market, complete with local artisans, vendors and food purveyors. The music was excellent with Tim Carbone, of Railroad Earth, joining Grant Farm and providing a performance that was outstanding. The response from the community for the grand opening of the Main Street Mall was enthusiastic and grateful to be celebrating right in Avon in the midst of beautiful new amenities.
Another improvement on the horizon is the relocation of town hall to the Skier Building, which is under contract. The location of the building is on the new Main Street Mall, creating a true place in the community for the community. The main floor will be finished to include public restrooms, a self-guided visitor center and community gathering spaces, which will accommodate council meetings, municipal court hearings, planning and zoning commission meetings and more. The “more” is what is so exciting. This space will be available for nonprofit meetings, lectures, special events and gallery space for local artists — the possibilities are endless.
The town’s master plans call for the current Town hall to be moved away from next to the park and for good reason. This is a unique place in Avon and once town services are more centrally located on the pedestrian mall, the current site can be repurposed as envisioned over the last 10 years. Having the opportunity to expand the soccer field area and pavilion grounds, potential for added parking and maybe a convention center are just the starting points for a community conversation about this great property.
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The new town hall also comes with a ballot issue attached, with a special election taking place on Jan. 20. This special election is a “mail only ballot” election, with Avon voters receiving ballots on or around Jan. 5. The one question on the ballot will be: Shall Ordinance No. 14-17 be approved and thereby authorize the town of Avon to utilize certificates of participation to acquire the Skier Building and complete interior finishes? It is important for voters to visit the website avon.org and review the fact sheet prior to voting.
All of the improvements that have been constructed this year and those that are planned have not and do not raise property taxes. In fact, Avon property owners will notice a decrease on their property taxes come 2015. All of these great improvements use regional and state grant funding, town revenue savings, real estate transfer taxes and franchise fees. No new taxes, wow!
Thank you to all who have offered their support for my new position as mayor of the town of Avon. I am excited to see what the future holds for our town. I also welcome your input. If you have not been in the core of Avon recently, then I highly recommend a visit. Please come by our council meetings as well — we meet the second and fourth Tuesdays each month, with a few exceptions. Visit our website for more information.
Jennie Fancher is the mayor of Avon.