On Tuesday, Jan. 15, the Selectboard unanimously approved
proceeding with a grant application to enhance gateway
beautification efforts and support the development of a Visitor
Center at Bill's Country Store.
The overall project, which includes the grant, will accomplish
four main objectives:
• Properly manage storm water run-off from US
Route 4 and Killington Road by treating it with a series of
landscaped retention ponds;
• Create a vegetation management plan to remove
the invasive species phragmites australis in the public right of
• Repurpose private property for public use,
allowing the Town to place its Municipal Park & Ride facility
adjacent to the new Killington Visitor Center with public
• Facilitate the creation of a consolidated
entrance from Route 4 to the Visitor Center (formerly Bill's
Country Store), Base Camp Outfitters, and the Park & Ride, and
align the single entrance with Killington Road.
"Locating the Park & Ride at the new Visitor Center,
consolidating and lining up the entrances of Basecamp, the Visitor
Center, and Park & Ride will improve the sense of arrival and
safety of the Killington Road and Route 4 intersection" said
Selectboard Chair, Chris Bianchi.
In December, the Town was awarded an $80,000 grant to construct
a Municipal Park & Ride and recently received authorization to
move the Park & Ride to Bill's Country Store after developing
an agreement with the owners to provide a 50 year easement.
The new owners of Bill's Country Store purchased the facility at
an auction in November and plan to convert it into a Visitor Center
for the Town and Region. The Killington Chamber of Commerce
plans to move into the facility in the spring and operate the
Visitor Center. The Chamber is currently working to finalize the
terms of a lease/purchase agreement.
"Having a real Visitor Center at the crossroads of two Vermont
Byways and Killington Road has been a long term goal of the
Chamber. It will be a benefit for businesses and the community
at large" said Bill Vines, Chamber board member.
To place the Municipal Park & Ride at the Visitor Center and
consolidate the entrance with Base Camp Outfitters, the Town will
apply for a state grant to fund the site preparations and
beautification. The scope of work the grant would fund includes
properly managing the storm water run-off from Route 4 by treating
runoff with a series of landscaped retention ponds, and eliminating
the invasive species phragmites australis. The work would take
place on land owned by Bills Country Store LLC and Free Heels Inc.,
both of which have agreed to provide public easements to the
Town. The grant application requests $174,987 in state funds,
for which the Town would provide a match of $43,746.
To ensure the Selectboard of their intention to convert Bill's
Country Store into a Visitor's Center, the owners of the Store
signed an agreement with the Town, committing to reimburse the
grant match of $43,746 to the Town if the Store is not developed
into a Visitors Center.
"The project allows the town to improve our gateway and support
the opening of the Visitor Center without purchasing the facility
or incurring debt or new maintenance costs to the Town" said Town
Manager, Seth Webb.
The grant application has received unanimous support from both
the Selectboard and Planning Commission which wrote letters to that
In addition, Killington Resort has backed the visitor center
concept. President, Mike Solimano, says, "The Resort supports
the concept of a visitor center in this location. I think it will
help us move forward with our "One Killington" initiative by
improving communication with our guests and making sure they have
the information necessary for them to have an enjoyable visit to
The Town expects a response from the grant application in March
and hopes to continue with the project in the spring of 2013.