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The city government also has been considering whether to hire an environmental consultant. "We have all these great ideas and demands to do work related to the environment, but we don't have the resources on staff to get after it," said Alan Mason, the city's director of economic development. Mayor David Raven said it's important to have specific goals and deliverables if somebody is hired.
Eagle stewing over big project
EAGLE, Colo. - Christmas was hardly a time of serenity in Eagle, where residents are arguing the merits of a major shopping centre and housing complex called Eagle River Station. Residents will go to the polls on Jan. 5 to decide the outcome of the proposal, which would feature a Target, an organic food store, plus dozens of other shops at a location along Interstate 70. This is about 30 miles west of Vail.
Even in the late 1990s cattle were trailed through the town on the annual drive to and from the summer grazing grounds on nearby Castle Peak. Now, herds of SUVs crowd the streets morning and night, evidence of the population growth that made Eagle the second-fastest growing town in Colorado in 2008.
Town officials say they expect to need $100 million in infrastructure improvements, primarily roads and bridges, during the next 20 years. This is regardless of whether the shopping complex gets built. The complex, however, likely will provide a huge boost in tax revenues.
Writing in the Vail Daily, editor Don Rogers argues that the project will improve the quality of life and describes the developer, Redd Development, which has done projects in Arizona, Missouri and other states, as "among the tops in the business... they have a track record of doing what they say they will do."
Another voice in support comes from life-long resident Herb Eaton. Writing in the Eagle Valley Enterprise, he argues that the launch of Vail in 1962 made it impossible for Eagle to remain the agricultural town of his youth. "Development does change lifestyle," he agrees, but asks critics: "Would any of us be here without development? I almost guarantee with certainty, none of you came here with the intentions of tending to a flock of sheep."
But another letter-writer, Liz Spetnagel, contends that Eagle River Station is not the answer to what ails the town. The shopping complex, she contends, is a "dying 1990's retail construct that will only disperse our existing sales tax revenues while continuing to damage the best thing Eagle has, its small-town charm."
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