On February 6, 2019

Killington to see tax jump

Staff report

Editor’s note: Also see the Killington town manager’s report on the budget on page 4.

Two candidates are vying for a Killington Select Board seat on Town Meeting Day.

Incumbent Patty McGrath is running against Charles Claffey for a three-year term.

McGrath, the owner of McGrath’s Irish Pub and the Inn at Long Trail, has been on the board for six years.

Her challenger, Claffey, is a computer programmer at Natwest Markets.

Claffey petitioned to run last year, but withdrew his name to support Jim Haff, who was also running for a seat.

“I thought I was going to take away from Jim Haff, who I thought was going to do good job,” he said.

Claffey moved to Killington with his family, including two children, ages 9 and 10, in 2015.

Claffey, an avid snowboarder, had been coming to the area since 2001. He moved here from Connecticut, taking an opportunity with his technology job to work remotely.

“I want to do my part and help the town move forward,” he said.

“I feel strongly the town needs to get into more of a sound financial position,” he added.

Both candidates received 10 signatures to appear on the ballot.

Whoever wins will join Steve Finneron and Haff on the board.

The budget to be raised by taxes this year is up 15 percent, to $3,653,023. The estimated municipal tax rate is expected to increase about 5 cents, to .4665 per $100 of assessed property value.

For the owner of a $250,000 property, that would equate to a $135 increase if the municipal budget is approved.

Voters will also be asked to approve a $1 million expense to rebuild and rehabilitate portions of East Mountain Road and Dean Hill Road.

“The roads have failed to the point where you can’t pave over them anymore,” said Town Manager Chet Hagenbarth. “It’s become dangerous in the winter.”
Both roads have been in poor shape since Tropical Storm Irene, he said.

“This has been put off for a while,” Hagenbarth said.

A $588,000 expense to fund Tropical Storm Irene bridge replacement projects is also on the warning.

The town spent the half-million dollars before receiving federal aid.

“Now the funds aren’t going to come we need to raise the money,” Hagenbarth said.

A new public $4,775,000 public safety building is also on the warning.

The 15,260-square-foot building would house the volunteer fire department, search and rescue and town police department.

The Killington Pico Area Association is hosting Town Manager Chet Hagenbarth and the Select Board for an informational meeting about the budget and ballot items Feb. 12 at 5 p.m.

This is the first of two informational meetings. The board will hold a second informational meeting about the budget March 4 at Killington Elementary School.

The Feb. 12 meeting will be held at the KPAA office on Route 4.

Construction would begin in 2020.

The informational meeting is held March 4 at Killington Elementary School at 7 p.m.  Voting will take place by Australian Ballot on March 5 from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

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