On March 12, 2019

Killington voters approve 6.9 cent municipal tax increase

By Katy Savage

Newcomer Chuck Claffey defeated incumbent Patty McGrath 202-110 on Town Meeting Day Tuesday, March 5.

Claffey, 49, moved to Killington from Connecticut in 2015. He works remotely as a financial programer for Natwest Markets.

“I wasn’t sure what to expect, but I was very happy to be elected,” Claffey said.

Claffey, whose two children, 9 and 11, attend Killington Elementary School, said he wants to focus on fiscal responsibility and improving the financially troubled Green Mountain National Golf Course.

“I think we need to keep on top of the golf course and make sure that keeps improving,” Claffey said.

McGrath, the owner of McGrath’s Irish Pub and the Inn at Long Trail, who has lived in Killington for 28 years and served on the board for the past six years, said the situation was a win-win for her.

She said her loss will allow her to be involved in other areas of the town.

“In a way, I won either way on this election because part of me wanted to start focusing on my own business with the KPAA,” said McGrath.

“It’s important to have an organization that connects us all together,” McGrath said of the Killington Pico Area Association (KPAA).

Claffey briefly tossed his hat in the race for a Select Board seat at last year’s Town Meeting election, but resigned to support Jim Haff.

Haff, who won election last year, advocated for Claffey to be elected.

“I believe he’s the right person to get in,” Haff said. “He’s a friend of mine. He’s fiscally responsible. He understands the town.”

Killington voters approved all articles including a new $4.7 million public safety building 207-85.

The 15,260-square-foot building will be located off Killington Road near the Spa at the Woods. It will house the volunteer fire department, search and rescue, and town police department. Site work is planned to begin in July with construction after. The building will take 12 months to complete.

Voters passed the $4.6 million budget, 216-94. Voters also approved $1 million for improvements to East Mountain and Dean Hill Road, 229-80, and approved a $588,000 expense to fund debt from Tropical Storm Irene, 243-65.

The budget alone is a 5-cent increase to the property tax rate to .46 per $100 of assessed property value compared to last year.

The  Irene debt, will add another 1.9 cent increase for a total of 6.9-cent jump on Killington’s municipal tax rate. The $4.7 million public safety building will not affect the tax rate as those payments are scheduled to begin as other bonds retire.

Curt Peterson contributed to this report.

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