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Briefs from the Killington Select board meeting, August 7

Recreation Report on Trail Development and Summer Programs
The Parks & Recreation Director Lyndsay Gang reviewed the trail development program. She noted that a Killington Trail Leadership Team was set-up and she reviewed its purpose. Gang reminded listeners that a grant was received by the P&R from the U.S. Department of Interior last year to develop trails and greenways and those missions are strongly supported by local Town residents, second-home owners and out-of-town guests.

Gang then went on to review the River Road Loop, noting it is the first trail project that will be completed and commented on its route. She noted that the Leadership Team and other volunteers came out to help complete the trail.

Gang then reviewed the Paddle Trail and its route starting at Raebeck Road and finishing at the Skyship parking lot and that an easement agreement was being negotiated with the Killington Resort (the "Resort") for the load-in and load-out.

She also discussed the proposed Mission Farm Trail and the Church of Our Savior's involvement in parts of the trail. And Gang discussed potential new trails and the Thundering Brook Boardwalk, which is in the process of reconstruction.

Gang then reviewed the summer programs, noting that the summer was the P&R's busiest season. She specifically summarized the Rek & Trek program, the Loads of Fun program, the Circus for All camp program, the Vermont Youth Adventures program, the Challenger Soccer Camp, the Swim Team program and the Swim Lessons program, which were all quite successful.

Gang also reviewed the 4th of July events undertaken by the P&R, Splash Theater and the River Road Concert Series and the range of guests in attendance.

Report on Tourism Systems and Funding
Chris Karr, on behalf of the Killington Chamber of Commerce (the "Chamber"), reviewed a report commissioned by the Chamber and done by Mr. Carl Ribaudo regarding an analysis of how the Town and community can continue to improve the way they fund and manage economic development. He discussed the background of the report and then proceeded to review an Executive Summary (handout of which was available at the meeting) of Mr. Ribaudo's report. He discussed the four main components of the report: Situation Analysis taking place inside and outside the Town with respect to economic development, The Key Issues (primarily a review of Town funding and Golf Course debt), Options for Consideration (recommendations for the Town to consider with respect to the State of Vermont, taxes, debt payments, possible Golf Course sale or stay the current course) and Additional Key Recommendations (review of the role of the Chamber and Town, flexibility of economic development funds and public/private investments).

Phil Black raised varies issues that were in the report, with Karr commenting thereon.

Karr continued discussing funding and what direction the Chamber and the Town should take. Mr. Megnin commented on the report as it relates to the Resort and what directions might be taken by the Resort, saying overall he thought the recommendations were favorable and should be considered.

Bernie Rome commented on the report and that he had some differences with the report. He stated he differed with the conclusions in the report with respect to the Golf Course, noting that he believed the Golf Course was an economic development venture, as well as other programs the Resort and Town have undertaken.

Rome discussed the repeal of the 1% tax mentioned in the report and Black commented, with a discussion following. Karr stated further discussion should be undertaken between all parties, such as the Chamber, Town, Resort, local businesses and the public with respect to the recommendations.

Haff discussed the Golf Course and its debt and the report, noting the budget and funding of the Golf Course and the Golf Course debt repayment schedule (mentioning that the voters approved of the current structure). He further mention the Town library operations verses the Golf Course operations and that the Golf Course might use a similar operations' model as the Town library.
Bill Vines questioned Golf Course operations and its funding, noting tax implications. He further suggested that a possible roundtable be set-up to review the report recommendations. Rome agreed that the community should come together and discuss the report recommendations, specifically the Golf Course and its debt. The Chairman stated that a framework might be set-up to address peoples concerns with the report. Follow-up to come.

The Chairman then summarized the Board's position on the report and that the Board will be interacting with the Chamber on the recommendations, with a follow-up to come.

Tagged: select board meeting, killington