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Letters to the editor

Rod Slifer

We understand the Eagle County commissioners will be reviewing a recommendation on Jan. 20 to allocate $6 million toward the preservation of the Edwards Preserve at the Eaton Ranch in Edwards, Colorado. The Vail Town Council would lilke this opportunity to weigh in on this most important acquisition.Since 1980, the residents of Vail have been collecting a town-wide Real Estate Transfer Tax which is mandated specifically for acquisition of open space and recreation. Not only this, but the taxpayers of Vail supported the countywide implementation of the open space tax of 1.5 mils in 2003. Of the latter, Vail supplies 26 percent of the total revenues, or approximately $790,000 of the annual collection of almost $3,000,000. As a long time major investor in open space in Eagle County, both within our own community and countywide (Dowd Junction), we would like to offer our strong endorsement for such expenditure and acquisition. What will be preserved further ensures the overall quality of life and sense of community in this county and will be a rare gift for generations to come. At the same time, we would like to encourage your judi cious oversight in expending further county dollars in Edwards because there are municipal areas within the county, including the town of Vail, who will request open space acquisition assistance.Along with the town’s support, we would like to suggest three conditions that reflect the recommendation from the Citizen’s Open Space Advisory Committee:1) That no more than $3 million be allocated to the project from the county’s open space fund.2) That the property be covered in its entirety by a permanent conservation easement, ensuring that it will be protected as open space in perpetuity and never sold or developed by Eagle County for other purposes.3) That all county funding, from all sources, shall be contingent upon the Vail Valley Foundation raising, in full (their portion of) the $12 million purchase price by the sale deadline.Additionally, the town believes it is incumbent on the residents and businesses in this unincorporated Edwards area to participate as well, with a financial commitment of substance. …Rodney E. SliferMayor of VailGo for itMy husband, Art Kelton, and I are excited by the prospect of seeing the 72 acres of the Eaton Ranch preserved as open space. To see this land restored to its natural condition and not have it developed would be a very special heritage for not only the valley residents, but for generations to come. Art and I enthusiastically support the use of $6 million of county funds for the preservation of the Eagle River Preserve.Elaine and Art KeltonVail, Colorado


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