Vail Daily letter: ‘Yes’ on 1B | VailDaily.com

Vail Daily letter: ‘Yes’ on 1B

I am in full support of ballot issue 1B. Voting "yes" will ensure that the Colorado, Eagle and Roaring Fork rivers remain protected, as well as preserve wildlife habitat and wetlands. Voting "yes" on 1B will protect the quality of life we enjoy in Eagle County by maintaining recreational opportunities and river access which benefits our economy. Most of us choose to live in Eagle County for the incredible lifestyle provided by access to open space, trails and water recreation.

"Yes" on 1B will enable bonding to complete the Eagle Valley paved core trail that will connect Vail to Dotsero in seven years. At current trail funding rates, the Eagle Valley Trail will take 35 years. Completion of this paved trail will ensure safety for riders and cars by allowing bikes to get off of Highway 6. Our paved trails are used extensively by runners, families, commuters and bikers; the trail connects our communities; expediting the completion of this trail is a win for our county.

Quality outdoor recreation is an important component of our local economy throughout the valley. We know that the Roaring Fork and Summit County recreational paths have tremendous economic impacts — we should take advantage of the historically low interest rates to complete our trail, sooner rather than later. World-class destinations enjoy world-class amenities that support active recreation, which is what 1B is all about.

1B is not a new tax. It extends the current mill levy and dedicates 25 percent of existing Eagle County Open Space to both the Eagle Valley Trail and soft surface trails throughout the county. The existing mill levy will sunset in 2025 and that will leave us with little funding for open space, rivers or trails. Our open space protects water quality, wildlife habitat, and creates public access for outdoor recreation.

A "yes" vote on 1B is a smart investment in Eagle County's future. If you enjoy outdoor recreation, open space and quality of life, please join me in voting "yes" on 1B for all the right reasons.

John Bailey