The Buckhorn Valley Metro District is a special district entity that controls the irrigation water and utility installation for the common water owned in our private water system. All owners of Buckhorn Valley HOA, Aspen Ridge HOA, Hawks Nest HOA and Mountain Gateway HOA receive irrigation water (non-potable water) for their yards through the Metro District. The Metro District owns water rights to the irrigation water and must fight each year to protect these valuable water rights.
Buckhorn Valley Metro District can only accept check or cashiers check to the PO Box for payments. Most owners set up auto-bill pay through their bank so the bank will cut and mail the check each month. Dues should be sent to:
Buckhorn Valley Metro District
PO Box 5128
Gypsum, CO 81637
Dues are due on the first of each month. A late fee of $5 is assessed for accounts overdue by 30 days. If accounts reach six months overdue, the amount may be collected by the county of Eagle through property taxes PLUS a 30% collection fee.
8/1/15: The Board of Directors for the Buckhorn Valley Metro District have been working to analyze the services provided by the Metro District and the funding required for such. The Metro District is authorized, among other things, to provide non-potable water for irrigation, improvements of water facilities, water lines, detention ponds and retention ponds, annual maintenance and the active use of the owned water rights for the District on benefit of its members. The current water fees collected are not enough to defray the costs of providing the irrigation improvements, including costs of the operation, maintenance, repair and replacement of the district irrigation system. The Board agreed they did not want to impose a common assessment. Therefore, the Board worked with Yarnell Consulting & Civic Design to get a Raw Water Rate Study. The recommended fee change was approved by the Metro District Board on Friday, July 24, 2015. The new monthly fee schedule is as follows:
Water service / Metro District dues effective March 1, 2016:
Buckhorn Valley $50.99 Buckhorn Empty Lots $38.28
Aspen Ridge $24.77 Aspen Ridge Empty Lots $24.77
Hawks Nest $21.25 Hawks Nest Empty Lots $21.25
Mountain Gateway $21.25 Mountain Gateway Lots $21.25
We are dedicated to serving the Buckhorn Valley Community and protecting the water rights for future generations. Please see the most recent audited financials for Buckhorn Valley Metro District #1 and #2 below.
1/30/18: Why do I pay Buckhorn Valley Metro District taxes with my property tax?
You may have heard this question, or in fact, asked it yourself. The combined property tax bill for Buckhorn Valley PUD is among the higher in Eagle County, but compared with many communities state-wide, fairly comparable. One of the taxing districts in the Buckhorn Valley PUD is the Buckhorn Valley Metropolitan District.
If you’re from another state, you may not be familiar with metropolitan districts and may be more familiar with town or county property taxes which somehow end up with high annual taxes, despite the fact there are no ‘metro’s’.
In most of Colorado, local governments like cities and towns don’t install infrastructure like roads, water networks, sewer systems and so forth that would facilitate local development of housing. It’s expensive to develop in Colorado, for a number of reasons; the rugged terrain, often remote locations far from existing facilities, the cost of providing water here in the high desert, and so forth. If a housing developer had to ‘front’ all of those costs and absorb it in the cost of a home, it’s likely that the initial cost of homes would be $40,000 to $75,000 higher, or more.
Special districts and metropolitan districts are essentially quasi-municipal governments with the ability to construct infrastructure by financing the costs over 30 years through bonds. The bonds issued by special districts are just like school bonds, road bonds, and hospital bonds; they are a loan to a local government to build improvements. The loans are paid back over a number of years, most frequently by property taxes in the area served by the improvements. The term of the bonds varies, but most frequently will be 20 to 30 years, just like a home mortgage.
When a special district is created, the ‘approving’ jurisdiction (the local county or city or town) may set an initial maximum tax rate upon which the bond-repaying revenue is created. The tax rate is adjusted in small ways from year to year by various state laws that ensure that tax revenue to special districts is somewhat stabilized, regardless of the residential assessment ratio and other factors that impact tax revenues. The adjustment is necessary to ensure that the special districts obligations can be met and bonds issued by the special district can be repaid.
The great recession which started in 2008 had a drastic impact of residential assessment rates, 50%, or more, in many cases. That meant special district’s tax revenue was drastically reduced; they were not able to make the scheduled payments on the bonds and these obligations went into “payment default.”
Now that property values are increasing, it can take a good while for special districts to catch up on the bond payments that went unpaid during the great recession. Values are still not where they were pre-recession, so it’s hard to say when the bonds may be fully caught up and paid off. In the meantime, special districts have to impose property taxes to pay for the bonds.
The 2018 irrigation season recently concluded and while many areas of the Valley went on restrictions, our District personnel were able to juggle resources and keep the water flowing all season. In addition, the District substantially completed construction of about four miles of 18” pipeline to our Abrams Creek source, so that future flows will be cleaner and more reliable. This project cost of over $1,200,000 was funded completely by grants; no District funds went to this very significant capital improvement! Almost ten years ago, your Buckhorn Metropolitan District set out on a joint project to benefit area wildlife and our very own water resources. We have worked together with Colorado Parks and Wildlife and Trout Unlimited to help preserve a very special, aboriginal strain of Colorado Cutthroat Trout, and to help deliver cleaner and more consistent water supply to our neighborhoods. The joint solution is the Abrams Creek Cutthroat project, which installed piping for some 18,000 feet up the JPO2 ditch to the headwaters at Abrams Creek. The project is all but done; literally the last 15’ to be installed, which will be a new self-cleaning screen and flow-measuring box, to be installed next Spring.
Beneficial to Buckhorn: more water, cleaner water to the pond. This $1,200,000 permanent year capital improvement was paid-for by grants from CPW, TU, the Colorado Water Conservation Board, the Town of Gypsum (from special fees to builders) and others.
Click on these links for the two videos that tell the story:
The details are found in the this great video: ABRAMS CREEK PROJECT
You can be proud of your community for making this project a reality; Buckhorn Valley is a leader in conservation and innovative thinking to solve problems with a public-private partnership.
Buckhorn HOA, Aspen Ridge HOA, Hawks Nest HOA and Mountain Gateway HOA Irrigation:
We’d like to take a moment of your time to clarify the District’s function for irrigation: BVMD is the supplier and distributor of raw irrigation water. The District is not responsible for, nor is it legally able to perform installation, maintenance or repair of irrigation systems within the boundaries of any particular subdivision or HOA. District personnel have their hands full with getting you a reliable and consistent water supply, and it’s a plenty big job. So for 2019 and beyond, please contact your HOA or your property manager for any leaks, valves, broken heads, mis-spraying or missing irrigation heads. Your local ‘authority’ will know what to do. District’s folks will appreciate your understanding, then, when they have to decline to provide services within a HOA or on a ‘lot’. The District’s board has recently instructed all personnel that this is an absolute policy established with your protection in mind.
Thanks for keeping Buckhorn Valley beautiful and green!
BUCKHORN STORAGE LOTS:
Got a camper, ATV, or extra vehicles?
The Buckhorn Valley Storage Lot is owned by Buckhorn
Valley Metro District. Only owners in Buckhorn Valley,
Aspen Ridge, and Hawks Nest can utilize these lots.
Spaces are $240 per year per lot. A waitlist for space
exists; contact us to get on the wait list:
S and C Storage of Gypsum
Owners must be current with all HOA and Metro
District dues to rent a space.
Check out the Parks and Open Space page for Metro
District initiatives including the proposed
Wildland Park area!