Signed development agreement paves way for town plan to meet target dates
On Oct. 28, the town of Killington took the next critical step in the Killington Forward project by signing a development agreement with Toronto-based Great Gulf, a residential and commercial real estate developer. While negotiations were time-consuming, the town was able to submit necessary documents to the Vermont Economic Progress Council (VEPC) to meet the Oct. 28 deadline and follow the protocol associated with the Master TIF Determination approved in June.
Killington Forward is a comprehensive plan designed to provide clean water, road improvements, development of a mixed-use Six Peak Killington village, and to create workforce and affordable housing.
Mid-course reviews conducted by VEPC are part of checks and balances to ensure that the town follows protocol and avoids project pitfalls. They will review the preliminary plans and development agreement, most likely on their Dec. 15 agenda.
The Vermont Economic Progress Council (VEPC) is an independent board of Vermont citizens, nine appointed by the governor and two appointed by the General Assembly. Additionally, there are two non-voting representatives from each region.
Pending approval from VEPC, Killington Forward will put forward a bond vote from Killington residents, likely on Town Meeting Day in March 2023.
Chris Karr, Killington Select Board member, said: “This is a huge step forward to fulfill the 50-year old vision of Pres Smith to create a ski village at Killington, seeding the growth of the best ski resort in the east. Fueled by the power of this TIF, Great Gulf, Powdr, and the town of Killington are able to collaborate to ensure not just success of the village, but they are putting infrastructure, water quality issues, and workforce housing at the top of the priority list.”
Jim Haff, Killingotn Select Board member, read a statement at the emergency Select Board meeting called Friday, Oct. 28, at 12 p.m. to sign the development agreement. The purpose of his statement, he began was to be sure “everyone is in the loop, we want to let you know where today’s submission to Vermont Economic Progress Council, also known as VEPC, fits in with the big picture.” He stated: “As you know, the final determination for the Killington Tax Increment Financing District, otherwise known as TIF, was made in June of 2022. This includes the financing for a larger part of the water & road infrastructure and the development of Six Peaks Killington. The TIF District is just one part of the funding for the larger Killington Forward initiative that also includes bringing water down Killington Road and supporting workforce and affordable housing. This summer and fall, we’ve been working on getting this development agreement signed and designs established for the water and road infrastructure projects. As you might have read in the Mountain Times last week, we also secured additional funding for the water project.
“Today, with the signed development agreement with Great Gulf, we are able to submit to VEPC, the phased filing, in order to get on December 15 VEPC meeting agenda.
“We have our regularly scheduled Select Board meeting on Monday, Nov. 14. We’ll put the Killington Forward project on the agenda to answer any questions folks might have. There will also be public meetings to better understand the details of the project and answer questions after VEPC has a chance to review the plans again. So, keep your eyes out for those dates in 2023. We hope you’ll come,” Haff stated.
After the Select Board unanimously approved the motion to sign the development agreement, Lyle Jepson, executive director for the Chamber and Economic Development of the Rutland Region (CEDRR), who attended the meeting Friday via Zoom, congratulated the town, saying: “The Chamber and Economic Development of the Rutland Region is very pleased that the development agreement has been signed. Six Peaks Killington is a key component of the Killington Forward Project, one that will open the door to infrastructure improvements that will help the entire Killington community.
“This is a perfect example of a community and economic development initiative. This public-private partnership is exactly the type of relationship that TIF districts were designed to support and one that I expect will serve as a model for development throughout the state. I look forward to the upcoming Vermont Economic Progress Council meeting and to seeing this project supported by the state of Vermont. I would like to commend the Killington Select Board, town manager and staff, and White &
Burke for the professional manner in which they are working through this process. Congratulations!”
The developer, Great Gulf, under Executive Chairman William R.C. “Bill” Tresham and Michael Sneyd, president, North American Resort Residential, has worked in 18 cities across North America. Since its founding in 1975, they have expanded groups in multiple sectors, including residential, mixed-use, industrial, and hospitality, all under Great Gulf Group.
• June 30, 2022: Final determination on Killington TIF is approved
• Summer-Fall 2022: Finalize development agreements, advance design for water/road infrastructure, water funding secured
• Fall 2022: Submit first VEPC phased filing
• March 7, 2023 (likely): Bond vote for Phase 1
• Summer 2023: Phase 1 groundbreaking