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Juniper Hill Inn for Sale To Pay Windsor Taxes

Windsor — The Juniper Hill Inn will be put up for tax sale on Aug. 9 as the town looks to collect more than $100,000 owed in back taxes.

According to the town treasurer, Juniper Hilll owes $109,000 in taxes over the last three years in addition to $6,100 for water and sewer.

The 15,000-square-foot inn surrounded by 14 acres has been owned by Robert Dean and Ari Nikki since 2005. Attempts to reach Dean this week were unsuccessful but the current innkeepers, Jim and Tracy Carleton, said business is brisk.

“We are doing very well,” Carleton said at the inn Tuesday evening, adding that they are booked for most weekends.

The inn was closed in February when pipes froze but reopened in the spring. In April, the mortgage holder, U.S. Bank, began foreclosure proceedings, according to a Rutland Herald story, and was looking to sell the 28-room bed and breakfast, which is on the National Register of Historic Places.

At the time, Dean said a combination of factors, including a poor economy and the health of his partner had created financial difficulties. He told the Herald the inn was not closed for good.

“I want to quash all the rumors that we’re closed for good. We will re-open May 1,” Dean said in April.

The Carletons indicated that Dean had worked out a restructuring with the bank.

Under Vermont law, any buyer in a tax sale cannot take possession of the property for a year, giving the owner a chance to redeem it. There are nine properties listed for tax sale, said Windsor Town Manager Tom Marsh. The town’s policy on back taxes is to first try to work out a payment plan.

“At the very least, we want to stop delinquencies and get the property owner on a payment plan,” Marsh said. Payment plans usually are structured keep new taxes owed current while back taxes are paid gradually.

Marsh said the town had a plan with Juniper Hill, but the owners were unable to maintain the payments. He said from the town’s perspective the best scenario is for the taxes to be paid while the property stays in the hands of the owners.

According to filings from U.S. Bank, Dean and Nikki owed the bank $1,163,355 as of April. The property is currently assessed at $1,022,180.

Windsor’s town attorney, Chris Callahan, said tax sales are one option towns have to collect back taxes.

“Often they are very effective,” he said, adding that if the town is one of the bidders at the tax sale, it would at least bid the amount it is owed, which includes taxes, penalties and fees.

Meanwhile, Black Dog Realty LLC, which bought the Time ‘L Tell Farm and had proposed a housing project several years ago called Morgan Meadows was also on the tax sale list but paid the amount owed, $32,710, on Tuesday.

Patrick O’Grady can be reached at ogrady56@yahoo.com.