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Killington selectboard excerpts from meeting July 16

Bob Montgomery said he believes that other Resort communities are outpacing us because they are using bonding to improve tourism infrastructure. He believes the town should use its borrowing power to fund a major tourism attraction and do the project in partnership with the resort.

Selectboard member concerns: Jim Haff said that tax sale data from the State of VT showed Killington way above Jay Peak and Ludlow and others in terms of rooms, meals and alcohol sales tax. He said that he agrees we need to grow our town but we shouldn't use the wrong numbers and make unreasonable comparisons to Jay Peak and Okemo.

Bernie Rome made comments about why he thinks the idea of the Golf Committee is flawed. We have a golf manager and town manager and committees dissipate the accountability and can lead to other problems. Rome thinks we've had a lot of initiatives including the Growth Committee, the Tax Committee, EDT, Fireside Lodge, TIFF, Bills Country Store, Route 4 Beautification, and others. He says these all have some merit; alone they don't do much, but together they could.

The municipal budget counts on $2,090,364 in reimbursements from FEMA. To date Killington town has filed for reimbursement on all of our projects (51) which represent $2,707,472 in claims.

All projects have been fully reviewed by FEMA /NRCS and we've received confirmation that we have been approved for just over $2.2 million. There are only two projects which we have not received statements of reimbursement, which were expected in July.
Of that $2.2 million, the town has received $1.6 million to date. The plan was to have $1.5 million by August and have $2.2 million total. It looks like we're going to end up with $2.4 million on the same amount of expense.

The reason for that increase is that FEMA raised its reimbursement rate from 75% to 90% and the state legislature approved a limit on what towns have to pay. We've been capped at 3% of our equalized grand list, which means our maximum contribution for eligible work is $250,000. For ineligible work we have to cover the full expense. The net is that we will be about $200,000 better than we expected.

Due to the good news, we are going to be able to do some of the capital projects that we had planned to defer. We will replace culverts on Estabrook Rd. Brad Mead, Cricket Hill, and near Wiffletree, and we will pave a section of Roaring Brook.
The board asked questions about projects that are not being reimbursed and if the town is using local contractors for repairs.

Regarding the repairs to the Teen Center, the selectboard has halted repairs because pre-existing structural damage was discovered that may alter initial plans to repair the center. The damage includes:
•    The rear wall has several courses of cinder block which are not well mortared and are leaking water into the basement.
•    The parking lot wall has chunks of block and mortar missing which lets water in.
•    All the basement windows are more or less rotted or water damaged by proximity to ground. Removing them and sealing the   openings should be considered.
•    The basement door is below grade and has problems with seepage. At the door the footings are exposed and undercut by water.

The long and short is that we have a significant problem. The foundation should be exposed in its entirety, sealed, and properly drained. This should include consideration of removing the basement door and sealing the opening.
Repair of the stairs to the basement from the first floor cannot be made in their preset location as they cannot meet code. The constraint is joist height.

We can proceed with a contract for design build or we could have an architect prepare a new design. Or we could consider demolishing the building and starting over.
The Board requested that Mel look into costs to raise the building and information on retaining the insurance payments made to help determine next steps.
Suzie Dundas gave a presentation that provided updates on summer advertising, the AJGA Jr. Golf Championships, Cooler in the Mountains concert series, wedding advertising, social media activity, website traffic and trends with, the Byways, golf marketing, current partnership opportunities for businesses, feedback from the Stage Race, and Hay Festival progress. Highlights included:
The AJGA brought 144 players to town plus their family and friends. There was strong positive feedback from players about the June event.Wedding marketing: EDT completed a very attractive 8-page, full color response piece, launched and is doing advertising on key wedding sites as well as attending top wedding shows.
The golf marketing effort which was a combined initiative with EDT, Green Mountain National, Killington Resort and the State of Vermont sold over 190 packages for the 2012 season.
The Stage Race brought in 568 participants this year and the EDT estimates a conservative economic impact is $222,879. The EDT is in talks about renewal for next year.
The Hay Festival was designated a top 10 event by the state of Vermont.
The board asked questions about the golf sales. Ed Fowler asked about overall website traffic. Suzie indicated she would follow up with him on the answer.
Act 250 Letter regarding Killington Village
Seth presented a letter, which SP Land requested, to respond to the questions raised by the Act 250 committee around water, sewer and road maintenance. Seth indicated he had made minor changes and presented it to the Board for its signature. All in favor.
Seth reported that his office had mailed all the tax bills, the road crew had paved East Mountain Road and is replacing many culverts, he and the town planner are meeting with AOT to deliver the Streetscape study.
He reported on the Recreation Department's interest in taking over the management of the IDIC 15 Run/Walk and asked for the board to support the plan. Jim made a motion to proceed with the management of the race and for the Town to back the race if the registration is low and the costs are high. All in favor.
Jim mentioned the proposed bylaws for Route 100 Byway Committee. He recommended Seth work with the Town Attorney to ensure the powers of the Byway committee are well articulated and can't contradict the will of the Selectboard, especially related to its support of the ski village.

Tagged: Killington, Selectboard