On January 11, 2009, an informational meeting was held at the Sherburne Elementary school in Killington. Members of the Killington Economic Development and Tourism Commission (EDTC) as well as Select Board members and other town volunteers presented the rationale for purchasing a 37 acre parcel of land located on Killington Road known as the "Fireside" property. Well over 100 people attended the meeting to hear the presentation and voice their support, concerns, and/or questions.
The EDTC contends that the land is necessary to host events critical to building a vibrant four-season economy for the town. The conceptual site plan presented at the meeting indicates proposed event areas, parking, trails, and access points. The land is being offered to the town for $850K. Costs have been estimated at approximately $700K for site development, not including bathroom facilities.
The EDTC and Select Board are proposing that the town voters approve a Municipal Bond in the amount of $1.4 million to cover the outstanding costs. According to the presenters at the meeting, revenues associated with the Options Tax will be sufficient to cover the cost of the bond spread over 20 years. The vote will be held through Australian ballot at the Killington town meeting to be held the first Tuesday of March, 2010. Absentee ballots will be available prior to the meeting.
Although attendees at the meeting were generally supportive of bringing new events and business to the town and many attendees seemed supportive of the land purchase, a number of the attendees requested that revenue projections be presented supporting the expenditures. No revenue models or new visitor projections were developed or presented.
An additional meeting prior to the town meeting in March will be "warned" and held for further comment and discussion. Watch for future announcements.