Vail Daily letter: Something has to change
Aristotle said that A is A. Reality exists. The reality for Eagle-Vail has just come to light and it’s not pretty. The precarious nature of Eagle-Vail’s current financial situation was recently shown to be worse than we knew. In addition to the roughly $10 million in principal and interest payments still remaining on the pool bond and $750,000 in remaining certificates of participation payments, it was revealed at the May 5 Eagle-Vail Board of Governors meeting that over the next 20 years $22 million in maintenance expenditures are needed just to keep things as they are. Of that total, there are at present no funds to cover roughly $11 million of that total. Meaning that between pool bond debt and maintenance needs we have $32 million in payments to make without sufficient funds to pay for it all. This deficit would be even greater were it not for the inclusion of transfers of $200,000 per year of Property Owners’ Association funds to the Metro District reserve fund.
Thus, between present indebtedness and uncovered maintenance needs, Eagle-Vail is in a $21 million ditch and our previous board wanted to dig us another $23 million into that hole with their proposed new community center/clubhouse. It is past time for this community to take a new path. We need better management of our existing facilities (the Pavilion generates only about $40,000 in revenue vs. over 10 times that amount generated by Vail’s Donovan Pavilion.) The golf course green fees have not kept pace with other courses in the area. We also need to better control our costs. Budgets are exploding. Administrative costs have increased by 70 percent since 2009, we routinely overpay for goods and services and seemingly resort to consultants, facilitators and costly surveys at the drop of a suggestion. Major decisions as to what we can and cannot afford are long past due.
At the May 19 board meeting, the new treasurers of the Metro District Board and Property Owners’ Association board presented a plan to generate the additional revenue and were met with a stunning lack of interest from most of the remaining board members. What interest there was seemed to be in finding reasons why these things couldn’t be done. The board seemed more interested in the date for the next community party than in addressing our very real, very serious financial problems. Something has to change folks, or Eagle-Vail is going to face a reality that none us will like or be prepared for.