Report tracks progress of implementing resident’s goals from 2008, follow up town-wide meeting set for Jan. 26
KILLINGTON – In 2008, 250 Killington residents came together to prioritize goals for community and economic development. The meeting was designed to address the major issues facing the town including a depressed economy, decline in cultural activities, lack of sustainable year-round economy, poor communication, and a strained relationship between Killington Resort and community members. The Vermont Council on Rural Development (VCRD) facilitated the community meeting and issued a report titled, “Town of Killington 2008 Community Action Plan,” which outlined resident’s goals. On Monday, Dec. 14, the Economic Development & Tourism Commission unveiled the results of a comprehensive study that cites the progress of that plan over the last eight years.
The principal goals of the 2008 plan were to strengthen the partnership between the town and the resort, grow year-round events, develop a comprehensive marketing plan, and build an indoor/outdoor events center. The plan also called out actions such as developing outdoor assets such as trails, creating a town center, improving the sense of arrival, and advancing renewable energy opportunities.
“The town was facing some major challenges in 2008. Looking back over the last eight years, we were able to see that the town has made tremendous progress since then,” says EDTC Chairman Bill Ackerman. “The relationship of the mountain/town and business community is stronger than ever and productive through the Killington Pico Area Association. We’ve seen six years of continuous growth in summer and fall tourism; a series of new trails have been established and/or permitted, and the sense of arrival to town has been dramatically improved.”
Commission member Bernie Krasnoff also summarized the report’s findings as positive. “Our community set some very loft goals, and we are very pleased to report that over ninety percent of our priorities have been either launched or completed,” he said.
Ackerman credits the success of the ongoing initiative to resident involvement, and notes that there is more to do: “Economic and community development are not short term endeavors, they require continued dedication and constant work, and we intend to keep this effort moving forward,” he added.
To ensure residents continue to guide the focus, the EDTC has invited the Vermont Council on Rural Development (VCRD) to return to Killington for a second Community Visit Program, a follow-up to the one facilitated in 2008. The town-wide meeting, designed to identify and prioritize major municipal projects in the next decade, is scheduled for Tuesday, Jan. 26, 2016 at 7 p.m. at the Killington Elementary School gymnasium.
The complete report titled 2008 Killington Community Action Plan: 8 Years Later is available on the town of Killington’s website, www.killingtontown.com.