Vail Daily letter: Continue Eagle-Vail tennis improvements
Last Thursday’s Eagle-Vail Board meeting was high drama indeed. Public comment produced a high pressure petitioner who demanded that improvements to Eagle-Vail’s tennis courts be stopped immediately, arguing that there must be a master plan in place or that Eagle-Vail needs another survey to be completed before taking any action on needed projects.
While the petition presented by a small minority of Eagle-Vail homeowners should be properly acknowledged and considered, it should clearly be denied.
Accommodating the request would be a waste of taxpayer money. The recent reserve study exposed a need for $20 million in unfunded deferred maintenance of existing Eagle-Vail assets. Yet despite these serious funding concerns petitioners are demanding that taxpayers spend more money on a survey to provide then with “a fully developed plan for all future amenities.” The painfully transparent findings of the reserve study clearly did not give the petitioners pause or an understanding of the ramifications of deferring maintenance in lieu of new amenity debt (like that proposed in the 5A clubhouse/community center bond election).
With 5A behind us and the reserve study complete, maintaining existing assets should be Eagle-Vail’s highest priority. Thankfully, the board set the course to start one of those projects (tennis). It is undeniable that the severely neglected tennis facility detracts from Eagle-Vail property values. Demanding that tennis court work stop or, for that matter, demanding that any deferred maintenance work stop, is unfair to other Eagle-Vail voters. The 5A bond called for relocating the courts to accommodate a clubhouse/community center. The voters resoundingly defeated 5A and yet these petitioners insist on ignoring the will of the voters, essentially holding the tennis facility renovation hostage to yet another survey to accommodate “desired newly surveyed amenities.”
Eagle-Vail’s future financial shortcomings are clear and serious. Unless new sources of revenue are found, taxes will have to be raised or existing amenities mothballed or dismantled. Surveys don’t put money in the pot. Surveys will not fix the leaking roof on the tennis building or retire the port-a-potty. Surveys do not address the irrigation system that will need replacement. Surveys do not replace deteriorating bridges on the golf course.
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The petition appears to be an attempt by disappointed 5A supporters to revive a white elephant. Sadly, the cost of the 2014 survey and the subsequent expenditure of tens of thousands of dollars to float 5A could have been better spent on maintenance of core assets that for one reason or another was “stopped or delayed” in the past.