Avon lawsuit: Village metro district owes $650,000 | AspenTimes.com

Avon lawsuit: Village metro district owes $650,000

Matt Terrell
Vail correspondent
Aspen, CO Colorado

AVON, Colo. ” Avon is suing the metro district that manages the Wal-Mart shopping center, claiming the metro district owes the town 11 months worth of sales tax and other payments.

The town’s lawsuit, filed Tuesday, claims the Traer Creek Metropolitan district owes Avon around $650,000.

Under the original agreement between the town and the shopping center’s developer, the metro district would reimburse the town for sales tax lost when the Wal-Mart in downtown Avon closed and was replaced by Pier 1 Imports, Sports Authority and Office Depot.

The metro district has missed payments the last 11 months, totaling $450,000, despite being notified by the town, the lawsuit says.

The agreement also requires the metro district to pay the town $2 million for capital improvement projects on the east side of Avon. The $2 million was supposed to be paid in 10 annual installments of $200,000 each, but the district failed to make its September 1, 2008 payment, the town says.

Avon is located just north of Beaver Creek ski resort and west of Vail.

“It is an unfortunate situation and one which the town would very much have liked to resolve without legal action,” Town Manager Larry Brooks said. “But the money owed to the town has reached such significant levels that we have no other recourse.”

Traer Creek Metropolitan District President Dan Leary said the district board of directors would review the lawsuit with legal counsel at its regularly scheduled meeting Wednesday morning and decide at that time when and how to respond publicly to the allegations in the town’s suit.

Avon officials say the metro district owes the district more money than what’s now included the suit, but hopes to resolve that without going to court.

The town provides municipal services, such as police protection, snow removal and roadway maintenance within the boundaries of the metro district, and the district reimburses the town.

The town says while metro district has paid the town for police service, it hasn’t paid for snowplowing and street maintenance since January 2008.

Also under the original agreement, the town can withhold municipal services if the district owes money.

Avon says it will continue to provide those services during “the short term,” but may have to suspend them if payments aren’t made.

“We cannot continue to provide services to the district without payment indefinitely,” said Brooks. “Doing so is unreasonable and certainly unfair to taxpayers.”

Brooks said he hopes the town can resolve payment for municipal services without having to go to court, and without having to suspend services.


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