News in Brief
Eagle County sheriff seeks re-electionEagle County Sheriff Joseph Hoy announced he will seek a second term in the November election. Voters elected him to a four-year term in 2002.”Collaboration with other local law enforcement agencies and emergency service providers is one of the most important responsibilities of my job,” Hoy said in a prepared statement. “This ensures the residents and visitors to Eagle County a safe place to live and recreate.”The Eagle County Sheriff’s Office maintains a substation in El Jebel that serves the El Jebel area and part of Basalt.Glenwood sales and lodging taxes doing OKTwo key measures of Glenwood Springs’ economy remain strong in early 2006, after a healthy recovery in 2005.The city’s sales tax revenues are up 38.6 percent in February over the same month a year earlier. Removing from the equation a quarter-cent sales tax increase voters approved last fall, the increase is still 29.2 percent.Glenwood Springs’ lodging tax income was up 14.1 percent for the same month over February 2005.Sales tax revenues reached $953,682 in February, compared to $688,067 in February 2005. Part of that was due to the decision by voters to raise the city sales tax from 3.45 to 3.7 percent to fund street projects. However, the bulk of it is attributable to the city’s continuing economic recovery, particularly since the opening of the Glenwood Meadows commercial complex last fall.February’s increase is slightly below the revised 40.8 percent increase in January (or 31.3 percent, without factoring in the sales increase).The accommodations tax growth is down a third from January’s 21 percent increase. Still, the tax brought in $35,163, up from $30,807 last February, and more than the $34,457 in January.The lodging tax grew 10.5 percent last year over 2004. Sales tax revenue increased 11.1 percent in 2005. (Glenwood Springs Post Independent)Controversial ski development clears key hurdleDENVER (AP) – Developers pushing a massive project of housing and retail space near one of Colorado’s most rustic ski areas cleared a major hurdle Monday when federal officials approved construction of two roads across national forest to reach the site.But opponents of the Village at Wolf Creek said they would appeal the decision, in court if necessary. They also are calling on the Agriculture Department, which oversees the Forest Service, to investigate the agency’s decision-making process, accusing the developers of having too much influence.The Village at Wolf Creek, which Texas billionaire Billy Joe “Red” McCombs proposed, eventually could include 222,100 square feet of commercial space and enough housing for up to 10,500 people. The surrounding Mineral County in the San Juan Mountains has fewer than 1,000 full-time residents.McCombs and his development team have been trying since the 1980s to build the village. Supporters say it would bring much-needed jobs and revenue for local governments in an economically depressed part of the state.Opponents said the village could negatively affect everything from waterways and wetlands to the local economy and county services.”Obviously, I’m not going to be pleased with anything short of them saying this is not suitable for this national forest area,” said state Rep. Mark Larson, R-Cortez.A statement from the Wolf Creek Ski Corp. – which opposes the project – said the company hoped for a better relationship between the resort and the developers.”The Forest Service emphasized the importance of cooperation between the ski area and the developer for the good of public safety and public enjoyment,” the release said. “It’s our hope at the ski area that the developer takes that to heart and works with us going forward.”
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