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WestMont Expansion Under Review by Mansfield Boards

By Jann Wiswall

The town of Mansfield board met Monday, Feb. 15 and was briefed by Town Supervisor Bob Keis on the status of plans for the WestMont Ridge development at HoliMont.

The town planning board, along with building inspector Gil Wiswall, engineer Mark Alianello and town planner Carol Horowitz, is reviewing the final “Planned Unit Development (PUD) Plan” application from HoliMont for “Phase 2A” of the WestMont Ridge development’s condominium project.

Phase 2A includes a new road connecting Ridge Road to the condominium area and infrastructure for the first 27 (of up to 72) condominium units along the top of the ridge on the hill north of the Sunset area of the resort. Pending approvals, Keis said HoliMont expects to complete construction in 2016.

As most people know, construction on WestMont’s Phase 1 single-family home development has been moving more slowly than originally anticipated, but Keis said he has reason to believe that five or six lot owners will be submitting building permit applications this spring.

As part of its original agreement with HoliMont, Mansfield owns and maintains only the first 700 feet of Ridge Road at the intersection of Rt. 242. The rest of the road is privately owned and maintained by HoliMont.

The Mansfield section is currently surfaced with gravel; the HoliMont-owned section is paved and lined with concrete curbs.

Some of the future WestMont Ridge homeowners have spoken with Keis about the poor condition of the road, who has explained that the town highway department has budgeted to chip-seal the section in summer 2016 at a cost of approximately $6,000.

Keis said he also explained to those future owners that the town cannot make more substantial improvements until tax dollars are generated from the development. Only one home has been built to date and any homes and condos built in 2016 will not be on the tax rolls until 2018.

Highway Superintendent Brad Hurley said that paving that 700 feet using the same materials on the private section of the roadway would cost more than $50K (not including curbs).

Mansfield’s total 2016 highway budget to maintain 54 miles of road year round, including snow removal, is less than $800,000 (roughly $13,800 per mile).

In addition, Keis pointed out that it makes no sense to “saddle existing taxpayers” with the cost of paving a road that will be getting heavy construction equipment traffic for many years. Hurley concurred, saying that “we’ll have to look at how fast [home] construction happens,” before budgeting for road improvements.

The next meeting of the Mansfield board is scheduled for Monday, March 21 at 7 p.m. in the town hall in Eddyville. All are welcomed.

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