It’s the first step in a major infrastructure plan to support Killington Village, Killington Road and affordable housing development
By Polly Mikula
The Killington Select Board approved a Public Infrastructure Tax Incremental Financing (TIF) Letter of Intent (LOI) at their regular meeting Tuesday night, Nov. 2.
The letter was signed by Chet Hagenbarth, town manager, and Steve Finneron, Select Board chair, with the date for filing the actual TIF application listed as Jan. 7, 2022.
The letter to the Vermont Economic Progress Council (VEPC) simply indicates that the municipality intends to create a Tax Increment Financing District and file a TIF District application with VEPC. In addition to the letter, the submission included a map showing the proposed boundaries of the TIF District, and any other officially designated areas (i.e. designated downtown, designated or proposed growth center, etc.).
The infrastructure in the proposal is for a public water system and major improvements to Killington Road that are needed to support the Killington Village Master Plan at Snowshed/Ramshead and the development of affordable housing in town.
“Presently, the town of Killington does not have a municipal water supply system; the entire town is serviced by private wells,” part of the LOI reads. “For economic growth to occur, a safe and reliable water system is required. The water project plans include providing water from the Valley Wells on Route 4 [behind the Mountain Times], through a new well house, through a transmission line along Route 4 to the high service Pump Station. Treated water from the Pump Station will be pumped approximately 1,450 vertical feet to a new storage reservoir at an elevation of approximately 2,634 feet. From the storage tank, water will be conveyed to the proposed water distribution system along Killington Road and along a small section of Route 4. The construction of this project is anticipated to commence in 2023, will occur in four phases, and and will be built out over a six [year] period. Funding for this work will be primarily TIF, with the possibility of some Drinking Water State Revolving Fund loans.”
In addition to the water infrastructure, the letter also outlined necessary improvement to Killington Road, stating: “Killington Road is a major collector that connects U.S. Route 4/VT Route 100 from the north to East Mountain Road and the Killington Ski Resort to the south. There are many issues with this road that hinder private development projects to move forward, including: generally high, and occasionally dangerous, vehicular speeds; poorly accommodated, and occasionally dangerous, turning movements, particularly to and from unsignalized driveways; lack of consistent access management practices; poorly accommodated bus operations; lack of dedicated bicycle infrastructure; lack of dedicated pedestrian infrastructure and safe crossing locations; deficient profile at northern project terminus; side streets and driveway movements experience long delays due to heavy Killington Road volumes during peak traffic times; and poorly graded and drained locations. The town has a study and plans for improvements that will address these issues. Similar to the water project, the road project will be constructed in four phases over a six year timeframe. At this time, no other sources of funding have been identified other than TIF, but the Town is exploring all possibilities.”
Real Property Development
Development at Killington has been stifled by the lack of proposed public infrastructure, but once built, this will assuredly usher in the long-proposed Killington Village at the base of the resort and make possible development of affordable housing.
The letter stated: “The Killington Village Master Plan is a plan for the construction of residential, retail, and hospitality at the base of and around the Killington Resort. The full build-out of this master-planned development has an Act 250 Master Plan Review and PUD Approval from the state of Vermont and the town of Killington, respectively. The full build-out encompasses 2,300 units, 438 hotel rooms, and 108,000 square feet of retail on 340 acres. The first phase of the build-out consists of a portion of the Village Core and Ramshead Brook Development Zones. This has of its Town Site Plan Approval, Act 250 Approval, and many State permits (water, wastewater, stormwater, natural resources, etc.) and includes condo units, retail space, a hotel, and the Ramshead Brook residential neighborhood of townhomes and single-family homes. All of these components require supporting infrastructure, including roads (including the relocation of Killington Road), water, and wastewater.”
Additionally, it continues: “There are two sizeable parcels in this area that have been conceptualized for various developments over the years and are zoned for high-density, multi-family housing. Given the scale of development and increase in residents and visitors in the Town, the need for affordable and workforce housing will grow even greater than the existing need today to provide for employees servicing the new development. There are no existing affordable housing projects in the town of Killington and there are very few workforce housing options within the town. This results in many employees of the town’s businesses commuting from Rutland and neighboring towns. These two identified parcels do not have known developers interested at this time. However, through initial conversations, the town has learned that these properties are of interest to some housing developers — they are ideally located and would be feasible if municipal water and sewer become available.”
Based on these possible developments, the town has defined the TIF District boundary as “characterized by the lands at the base of Killington Resort and the land along Killington Road until Glazebrook Road, Killington Road to Route 4, a cluster of parcels along Killington Road at Nanak Way [Hillside Inn road], a portion of Route 4, and a cluster of parcels on Route 4 that also border Route 100.”