Tri-town committee completes negotiations

The tri-town committee that has been negotiating the terms of a memorandum of understanding for an interlocal agreement has completed its work. The agreement spells out the terms of Warren, Waitsfield and Fayston asking voters to adopt a local option tax (LOT).

The Warren, Waitsfield and Fayston Select Boards each appointed two board members to serve on the tri-town negotiating committee this spring. Committee members crafted and vetted the terms of a memorandum of understanding for voters in the towns to adopt a local option tax (LOT) as well as the bylaws that spell out how funds collected will be used and dispersed.

The LOT proposal calls for the three towns to adopt a 1 percent local option tax on rooms, meals, alcohol and the retail sales that are already subject to Vermont’s sales tax. The proposal calls for funds to be used for housing, transportation, recreation, community projects and marketing The Valley. A local LOT would raise $700,000. The money will be distributed through a grant process by a commission made up of two representatives appointed by each select board plus a chair appointed by the Mad River Valley Planning District (MRVPD).

The memorandum of understanding (MOU) spells out the reasoning and the legal structure for the towns to create an LOT and combine the funds to be spent on housing, transportation, community projects, recreation and marketing. The bylaws define community projects as projects that include housing, the environment, conservation, transportation and other project related to community well-being.

With the MOU and accompanying bylaws complete, those documents now go to each select board for review and comment, said Warren Select Board member Bob Ackland who serves on the tri-town negotiating committee along with his fellow board member Andy Cunningham, chair of the tri-town committee. Fayston Select Board chair Jared Cadwell and board member Mike Jordan serve on the committee and Waitsfield Select Board members Kellee Mazer and Darryl Forrest serve on the committee.

Once all three select boards review the documents and vet them with their town attorneys, the tri-town negotiating committee will reconvene to review comments from the full select boards and other public comment.

The documents are available at