Vail Daily letter: ‘Yes’ on Skier Building
The title of this letter, in my opinion, should be “Location, location, location!” That is an opinion that many real estate agents suggest is most important to buyers, when they are wanting to purchase property.
In regard to the town of Avon purchase of the Skier Building to move its town hall location to, a few critics have suggested that this purchase is not wise. However, the issue Avon voters face is not whether the town should buy the property. The town has already committed to buy the property. The issue is to whether to finance it through certificates of participation, which is a loan mechanism to borrow the money at an unbelievably, reportedly, low interest rate of around 2 percent, with no prepayment penalty, if the loan is paid off in the first five years.
The town reportedly has little to zero debt, and has retired its previous debt by paying up to $2 million in debt service over the last several years, so it should easily be able to repay $5.7 million in new debt in a very short period of time without the prepayment penalty.
Critics have suggested that the building shell is not up to par. However, the building has reportedly passed two inspections. Plus, the loan would provide money to remodel the building.
Critics have suggested that Avon voters should oppose the purchase because it is backed by the full faith and credit of the taxpayer. Why shouldn’t a loan to a town not be backed by the full faith and credit of the taxpayers, if the taxpayers support it by their vote?
Critics have suggested that the purchase is an end run around the constitutional Taxpayer Bill of Rights (TABOR). But, ironically, it is TABOR that has allowed the Avon voters to have a say in whether money should be borrowed to help pay for this purchase.
Critics have suggested that the Skier Building has not and will never be a great place for retail businesses to locate to. If that is true, and it probably is, why would it not be a great location for the town to help direct its greatest assets, the Nottingham Park and the Avon Recreation Center. Remember “location, location, location”? There probably is no better location for a new town hall. God doesn’t seem to be making any new land available this close to the town’s greatest assets.
Critics of the town have suggested that the town needs to have a parking structure near Nottingham Park for the many events held there. Purchasing the Skier Building allows the town hall to move from the current town hall location, which would then be the best location for a new town parking structure, and which would be a positive response to “lack of parking structure” critics.
Failure to close on the purchase of the Skier Building could possibly prevent the town from ever having a town parking structure built near its greatest asset, Nottingham Park.
Failure to close on the purchase of the Skier Building could possibly prevent the town from ever having a hotel located next to Nottingham Park, which could also provide a convention center and much welcomed serious tax revenue for the town. This potentially new infrastructure could be paid for in part or in whole by private enterprise, saving Avon taxpayers serious dollars in the future!
Failure to have the current town hall location available for a hotel, parking structure and possible convention center to help pay for all of this infrastructure could prevent Avon from being all that it can be.
Failure to close on the purchase of the Skier Building would be a huge mistake and could slow the economic and recreation potential for Avon taxpayers, residents and visitors.
Ye Olde Publisher suggests Avon voters support this minimal short-term borrowing to lock in this terrific location for the future of Avon. Remember, by voting “yes,” Avon voters are not voting for a tax increase!
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