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Ferrisburgh extends land sale deal

FERRISBURGH — The Ferrisburgh selectboard on Tuesday agreed to give the contracted buyer of the town-owned 34.91-acre parcel at the junction of Routes 7 and 22A another month to arrange financing to complete the purchase.
Andrew Peterson, owner of the four-year-old business Peterson Quality Malt in Monkton, has a $337,500 deal to buy the property.
Peterson hopes to build on the land a 10,000-square-foot, barn-like malt-processing house and to grow barley, which is processed into malt that is used to brew beer. His business supplies malt, made from barley grown in Vermont, to Vermont brewers. Peterson said demand exceeds what he can produce in a smaller, less efficient converted barn on his Monkton property.
The financing contingency in an addendum to his purchase-and-sales agreement with the town of Ferrisburgh had been set to expire on Nov. 15, and the selectboard agreed to amend that date to Dec. 15.
Selling broker Carl Cole told the board on Tuesday he saw no stumbling blocks, but that the process was time consuming.
Cole delivered the same message to the Independent on Tuesday afternoon.
“It’s just like everything, taking longer than anticipated,” he said.
Board Chairwoman Loretta Lawrence said on Wednesday that board members were satisfied with Cole’s explanation and continued to back Peterson and his proposal.
“We certainly support Andrew,” Lawrence said. “We’re certainly in support of this project.”
The purchase and sales agreement also has a permitting contingency with a January target date that was not addressed on Tuesday.
Ferrisburgh has marketed the land for $375,000 since September 2010 and has twice before had it under contract, most recently for $350,000 to auto dealer Tom Denecker in 2014, only to see deals fall apart.
Denecker backed out because he said he could not meet a permitting contingency in the face of opposition from Act 250 and Agency of Natural Resource officials and conservation groups. An earlier $375,000 sale collapsed because the prospective buyer could not meet the financing contingency despite extensions granted by the selectboard.
Andy Kirkaldy may be reached at andyk@addisonindependent.com.

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