Vail Daily letter: ‘No’ on Skier Building | VailDaily.com

Vail Daily letter: ‘No’ on Skier Building

Do Avon taxpayers really want to approve the expenditure of approximately $9.2 million of their tax money to move the Avon Town Hall to a new location across the street? This is the real question before Avon voters.

According to the financial analysis presented to Town Council at their Sept. 23 meeting, $9.2 million is the total cost to taxpayers resulting from the purchase of the Skier Building. This includes $3.2 million to purchase the Skier Building, $2.5 million to complete construction of the unfinished building, and an additional $4.4 million in interest.

Little attention has been focused on the approximately $4.4 million in interest the town of Avon will pay to the certificate holders over the next 25 years in order to retire the $5.8 million in debt the town is asking the voters to approve. By most taxpayer standards, $9.2 million is a huge sum of taxpayer money and that alone should cause any voter to hesitate to mark “yes” on their ballot.

Given a choice, I would prefer to spend $9.2 million on much needed police, fire, and public service improvements than on a town hall. Unfortunately, no one asked me.

Town officials have been throwing out a lot of rhetoric about parking garages, a new police station, lodges and public/private partnerships. It sounds like there may be a lot more important things to come down the road. Where will the money come from to finance these projects? More bonds?

Our elected leaders claim to be trying to move Avon forward, but in the process seem to be leaving citizens behind. There has been little public vetting in recent years related to long-term plans or priorities for the west side of Avon, and the current proposal calls for the new Town Hall to commandeer much of the available public parking in town.

The ballot issue before Avon voters is not the brainstorm of our Town Council as some might have voters think. It is the result of involved and concerned citizens petitioning the Town Council for a referendum to give voters a voice. If you haven’t sent in your ballot yet, think hard before you vote, but do vote.

Is a new Town Hall that will gobble up much of the public parking in Avon and $9.2 million of our tax dollars your priority?

It isn’t mine.

Bette Todd