A public hearing is scheduled this week on a request to divide the Powder Ridge property.
Middlefield's Planning and Zoning Commission is reviewing a to split off a 20-acre parcel of the 246-acre ski area and will hold a hearing on Wednesday at 7 p.m.
If approved, First Selectman Jon Brayshaw said the town will keep the property, which is located along the western edge of the entrance road to the ski area, and look to either sell the property or maintain it as open space.
The property was originally included in a deal with Sean Hayes, owner of Brownstone Exploration and Discovery Park in Portland, who . But when negotiations between Hayes and a third party to fell through Brayshaw said he decided to hang on to the property.
"Sean doesn't need this because it has nothing to do with skiing," said Brayshaw, who sent a letter to residents earlier this month explaining his decision.
"On a per acre basis, the hay lot and land along the driveway was much more valuable than the actual ski area land. Rather than sell all the Powder Ridge land to Mr. Hayes, the Administration determined that it was incumbent upon the Town to hold this piece out of the sale looking to just hold on to it (add it to our inventory of open space or to sell at a later time," the letter states. (See attached PDF for entire letter)
The 20-acre lot has been valued at $300,000, an amount that Brayshaw said the town would recoup if it decides to sell the property. At least one buyer has already come forward offering the amount, he said.
Meanwhile, Hayes, who has for $700,000 and restore skiing, said a final sales agreement should be available by the end of the week.
"Things are going very well," he said. "We have our funding in place. We have done most of our due diligence. We are confident that the combination of Brownstone and Powder Ridge makes perfect sense."
Brayshaw said a would be complete soon but that preliminary information supports his plans to restore the ski area.
A second public hearing on the deal is expected sometime in June.
"I think we're doing very well, as far as speed goes," Brayshaw said.
Wednesday's meeting will be held at the Community Center. Brayshaw said he anticipates that some residents who want to "thwart" the deal with Brownstone will attend the meeting to speak out against dividing the property.
"It would be so nice if people in this town put the politics aside, because they're not putting the politics aside," he said.