On October 25, 2023

Q&A with Town Manager Michael Ramsey clarifying Killington Forward, cost, timeline

Courtesy Town of Killington

Map shows the locations of Phase 1 municipal water and road projects planned as part of the Killington Forward projects.

 

 

Staff report

Killington Forward infrastructure investments and construction have recently kicked off — the official ribbon and tree cutting was Oct. 4 with the annual Killington Update at Killington Resort, Oct. 19. The events provided many answers but also left some residents and Killington visitors with additional questions about the project and its timeline.

Here are a few common ones we’ve heard and posed to Killington Town Manager Michael Ramsey to clarify:

1) Is the timeline delayed? Wasn’t Casella supposed to start earlier?

Michael Ramsey: The project team does not forecast a delayed completion date. Casella is currently prepping the site and are scheduled to finish construction of their portion of the project on time by Fall of 2025.

2) The initial water line is going up the mountain, when will it be available for others?

MR: We’re predicting that private service connections will be available inside of Phase 1 by 2026-2027. It may be a little too ambitious to announce dates for Phase 2 and beyond, but we’re focused on our goal of completing these phases back-to-back and are always mindful of designing the plans to efficiently move from one phase to the next.

3) What construction bids has the town accepted so far? Has the town accepted a bid for any portion of the road yet? What’s the timeline for putting them out to bid/accepting bids?

MR: Two bids have been awarded. Markowski Excavating Inc. won the bid to reconstruct the road and install a dry waterline from Anthony Way to Route 4. Casella Construction Inc. has been awarded the water project called Contract 1-3A, which includes the well house, pump station, and a water line to storage tanks located on Shagback Mountain.

Currently under design is Road Project 1A (which has a scope along the Lookout to East Mountain Road including the roundabout at the Killington Road/East Mountain Road intersection; a small section of East Mountain Road from Killington Road to the Grand Hotel plus Old Mill and Road H), and the water distribution line (Contract 4 found throughout the ski village and beyond), which are both scheduled for bidding in March 2024 with a 2-3 month solicitation period.

We acknowledge that all these contract and phase names can be difficult to track, but the town has an updated project map on our website at Killingtontown.com.

4) What’s the timeline for affordable housing? Has it been delayed from the initial estimate?

MR: The key to constructing affordable housing is getting a municipal water system all the way down Killington Road to Route 4, and we don’t expect delays to the original timeline of 5 to 6 years. I can’t stress enough that we are working hard to ensure that each phase of Killington Forward is implemented contiguously, and announcing a ribbon cutting date for affordable housing will come after we move infrastructure further down the road.

5) What’s the cost of the whole Killington Forward project? What money has the town received toward this?

MR: It’s more rational to focus on what’s been approved by the voters, which is $47,000,000 for Phase 1. The most exciting news coming out of the Killington’s Finance and Planning Offices is that we’ve secured almost $20 million in grants and forgiveable loans. The rest of the financing for Phase 1 Road and Water Projects has been secured with 0% interest loans through the state’s Revolving Loan Fund and a USDA loan of $18,394,000 at 3.625%.

6) For the money the town is borrowing, how will it affect local taxes?

MR: Tax Increment Financing (TIF) isn’t the easiest tool to understand, but an important fact of it is that taxpayers (other than Great Gulf) will not be impacted by the costs of projects inside of Phase 1. Depending on what grants we can secure in the future, the portion of the water line outside of Phase 1 (Lookout to Route 4) will be financed through subsidized loans and repaid through user fees.

7) Is there anything else that you feel needs to be clarified?

MR: We can’t understate the incredible success that our team has had on attaining forgivable funds, and it’s incredible that the town of Killington is leveraging all we’ve got to pull state and federal dollars back into our community. On a personal note, this has been one of the most exciting projects that I’ve ever been apart of, and it wouldn’t be possible without the vision and commitment of our community leaders.

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