TIF designation and bond vote paved way for $285 million village development
By Polly Mikula
Last Wednesday, Oct. 4, the town of Killington officially broke ground on its municipal water system — among the biggest drivers of the Killington Forward initiative, which, also includes a complete rebuild of Killington Road, a workforce housing development and a new village at the base of Snowshed and Ramshead.
Over 60 local, state and federal officials gathered to celebrate the historic milestone at the future site of the pump house on Route 4.
“You’ve waited 35 years for this,” said Lyle Jepson, executive director of Chamber and Economic Development of the Rutland Region, as giant scissors snipped the ceremonial red ribbon. Jepson was referring to a village development that has long been planned and abandoned by various developers due to lack of municipal infrastructure. “This is moving Killington and Vermont forward!” Jepson added.
“TIF is a very ambitions program, but all of this is necessary and we have so many people and organizations to thank,” said Town Manager Michael Ramsey.
Voters in Killington approved a municipal infrastructure bond of $47 million this past March on Town Meeting Day by a wide margin — 75% voted “yes.”
The debt, will be repaid through tax increment financing for Phase 1 of the water and the full reconstruction of Killington Road. According to projections, the resulting development of the first phase of planned and permitted development at the base of Snowshed and Ramshead will add $285 million to the town’s grand list value — the incremental increase from that growth will pay the bond. Additionally, payments are guaranteed through a development agreement with Great Gulf, the developer of the future village.
The town of Killington has also received approval for $2.3 million in American Rescue Plan Act funding for the water infrastructure, nearly $3.7 million forgivable loan from the state’s drinking water revolving fund, $2.25 million from the Northern Border Regional Commission and $1 million from the Community Recovery and Revitalization Program — all of which reduce the amount of bonded debt.
Casella, who received a $18,244,850 contract with the town, expects to complete the first phase of the municipal water expansion in two years. From there the water line will progress down Killington Road.
“It’s highly likely that some of the condos up by the mountain will tap into the municipal waterline even before the new village is built,” Haff said.
For many businesses along Route 4, access to clean, reliable water could not come soon enough. Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), also known as ‘Forever Chemicals’, have been found in many establishments necessitating expensive treatment protocols to remedy.
A municipal water system will also allow for more business development along the road and housing, including a workforce. The town bought 70 acres of land at the base of Killington Road in July and plans call for up to 250 to 300 housing units — a mix of apartment buildings, duplexes and single-family homes.
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