Mark Kogan on Avon’s Hahnewald Barn – Fiscal Fiasco

Mark’s (unedited letter) below.

ECT:  Mark however, doesn’t explain his support of an Avon incumbent candidate (election Nov. 2018).  This incumbent was on Avon’s Council during the multi-million dollar Avon Town Hall financial mess – preceded of course by the other multi-million dollar disaster – the Avon Music Stage.

-below by Mark Kogan 

As an Avon resident and taxpayer that has twice helped protect the Town Council from financial folly, I am once again stunned at the Town’s complete lack of regard for fiscal responsibility in its continuing consideration of the Hahnewald barn.

Mark-KoganBefore addressing the Town Council’s current madness, I want to review prior advice I have given. When the Council wanted to pay over $4 million for the Skier building, I met with its representatives to tell them they were overpaying and I was rebuffed. Not one to give up, I wrote articles for the Vail Daily and helped to marshal support for cancelling the Town’s purchase contract.  One year later the Town purchased the building for less than $2 million.  When the Town wanted to grant a $500,000 subsidy to Sun & Ski, I again met with Council representatives and was told Sun & Ski would not come to Avon without a subsidy.  I ignored this naïve view, and appeared before the Council and lobbied against this subsidy.  The Town Council finally did vote down the subsidy and Sun & Ski signed its lease in Avon the very next day without the subsidy.
So here we are again – the Town is considering spending almost $400,000 of taxpayer money to move the Hahnewald barn with no clear budget or plan for its repurpose. Estimates of this repurposing are upwards of $6 million.  Let me say that again – upwards of $6 million. This is taxpayer money that Avon resident worked extremely hard to earn.  It is money paid to the Town from the egregious real estate transfer tax. And it is about to be flushed down the proverbial drain because of a romantic attachment to a barn that has had zero significance to the Town of Avon’s history, beyond being used as a storage facility by the Nottingham family.  In thinking about this potential $6 million project cost, the Town fails to recognize the value of the land upon which the barn would sit.  Were the Town to sell the land under the old Town Hall, or ground lease it to for a commercial project such as a hotel or conference center, it could realize millions of dollars in such a transaction.  Let’s say that this land is potentially worth $2-3 million.  In that case, the Barn would actually cost the Town $8-9 million because of the lost opportunity with a potential land sale/ground lease.
Think about what the Town could do with $8-9 million. Affordable housing, redeveloping the Town Hall and fire station, tax breaks to citizens, reinvesting in projects that actually lead to the enhancement of Avon businesses and increase in residents’ quality of life.  If this were a commercial project being developed by a private citizen, a $6-8 million investment would be expected to generate $400-600,000/year in income.  Instead, we hear that the barn would look nice on a postcard.
If anyone wants to know why citizens nationwide are disaffected with government, they need not look further than Avon, Colorado where our Town Council loves nothing more than to spend taxpayer dollars on frivolous projects in a ready, fire, aim approach, to wit – relocate the barn and then figure it out.  As an Avon resident, I ask my fellow citizens – “What are you going to do when the Town Council runs out of your precious tax dollars it is wasting?”

SnowMaking – while it’s WARM!

by Clayton Moore

Sunday’s (16DEC2018) beautiful and warm weather – exposed some interesting Environmental conditions.  In particular the difference between a Southern Sun Exposure home vis-à-vis a ski slope with a Northern Exposure.

It was the current Snow Making on the Ski Runs at Arrowhead in Edwards – that caught the attention of the ECT.  The weather station’s report (below) is a good quality (Davis Instruments) weather station.  It has a southern exposure, looking at the Northern exposure Ski Slopes at Arrowhead.  Ambient temperature 8.5 degrees above freezing (32F).


Now take a look at the (2) photos below….the “yellow circle” shows the location of the SnowMaking going on at Arrowhead at 3:23PM – Sunday, December 16th 2018 – CLICK ON the photos to enlarge them


Now below is the close up – the camera zoom of the Arrowhead SnowMaking guns from above photo – at the same time of day (3:23PM) Sunday, December 16th 2018.  Man Made Climate Change?   Nope…in this documented case it’s all about the Sun.  Have you ever considered that over thousands (millions?) of years…that the amount of HEAT/LIGHT coming from our Sun – was LIKELY – not always the same…  Man Made Climate Change?…Hmmm



Early Vail Ski Conditions? Try the Aspen Grove indicator…

It all started at about 5:30PM on September 28th, 2007


For the last (11) years running…from the same spot – at the same time of day – ECT has photographed the same Aspen Grove…This especially dry (2018) summer have the Aspens changing and falling much earlier.


Now – what can be shown for the early ski conditions at Vail – vis-à-vis the changing Aspens on September 28th….2012 Aspens and Mid-Vail (not open yet on December 9th 2012)  Another dry summer.


2014 was BY FAR the Best Early Ski conditions at Vail – by December 13th 2014 Vail’s Back Bowls and Blue Ski Basin were open…Photo of Pete’s Chair in Blue Sky Basin.


2016 was a better than average early ski conditions with Vail’s Tea Cup Lift (west side of China Bowl) running on December 3rd 2016…


What will early Season 2018 bring for early Ski Conditions?  We’ll have to see…

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