West Windsor to Buy Resort Sewers
West Windsor — After months of negotiations, the town has signed a purchase and sales agreement to buy the sewer system at the Ascutney Mountain Resort and will now wait for approval from a superior court judge.
The $500,000 price, which voters approved at Town Meeting in 2012, will give the town full ownership of the system’s lines and pump stations.
Selectboard Chairman Glenn Seward said this week that it could take months for the court approval and the town has submitted a request to expedite the process.
Once the town takes ownership, it will be responsible for collecting fees and has set up an escrow account for that purpose. Seward said local ownership and control will encourage users to pay outstanding amounts.
“We are hopeful that now with the town collecting the fees, people will be more forthcoming because the money will be under town control,” Seward said.
A significant increase in late 2011 in the sewer fees charged to the systems roughly 270 users, most of whom are located on property next to the resort, triggered the town’s efforts to buy the system.
The town said owning the system will bring stability to users, allow for expansion into the village to address pollution problems with septic systems and for more development. Those improvements could enhance the sale of the ski area, which has been closed since August 2010.
A special tax district, approved by voters in October, will be established after the sale is approved, Seward said. The district will allow the town to assess the properties in the district for system operation and maintenance costs, sewage processing fees, debt service, and capital reserve funds.
It will also allow the town to collect current and past due payments from the users in the same manner as property taxes are collected.
Patrick O’Grady can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.