The Vermont Statutes Online
§ 3212. Determination of compensation; payment; proceeds from bonding
(a) Following the final determination of the necessity of the taking, the municipality may proceed to acquire such lands. Whenever a municipality and an owner of land or rights agree as to the amount of compensation to be paid therefor, the municipality may take possession of the land or rights and proceed with the work for which it is taken upon making the agreed payment therefor. When an owner and the municipality are unable to agree on the amount of compensation to be paid therefor, and if the municipality desires to proceed with the taking thereof, it shall appoint a time and place for hearing and give at least ten days' notice thereof before such hearing to the persons interested, either personally or by written notice left at the residence of the owner or occupants of such lands. At such hearing it shall hear any person having an interest in such land and desiring to be heard. Within 20 days thereafter, it shall by order assess the damages sustained by such interested persons. The municipality shall file a copy of such order for record in the office of the clerk of the city, town, or village in which the land lies, and shall deliver to each interested person a copy of that portion of the order directly affecting such person and shall pay or tender 95 percent of the award to each person entitled thereto which may be accepted, retained, and disposed of to his or her own use without prejudice to such person's right of appeal as hereafter provided. Within ten days after the expiration of the period for taking an appeal from the amount of the award, the municipality shall pay or tender the remaining five percent to each person entitled thereto who has not appealed from said award. Upon the payment or tender of 95 percent of the award as above provided, the municipality may take possession of such land and proceed with the work for which it is taken. When an appeal has been taken by any person having an interest in any property, the remaining five percent awarded on account of the taking of such property shall be retained by the municipality pending final disposition of the appeal.
(b) When a person having an interest in the land is dissatisfied with the damages awarded therefor, the person may appeal to the Superior Court of the county wherein the land lies within 90 days of the recording of the order of the municipality. Any number of persons aggrieved may join in the appeal. Each of the appellants shall be entitled to a trial by jury.
(c) When the award made by the municipality is upheld, the court shall tax costs against the appellant, and, after deduction of taxed costs, the municipality shall forthwith pay appellant the balance, if any, of the five percent of award withheld, and, if such five percent of award withheld is insufficient to pay such costs, appellant shall pay the municipality such amounts at such time as the court may direct. When the appellant is allowed a sum greater than was awarded by the municipality, the court shall tax costs against the municipality, the municipality shall forthwith pay appellant the five percent of award withheld, and the municipality shall pay appellant such further amounts at such time as the court may direct.
(d) The full faith and credit of the municipality shall be pledged to the payment of all amounts awarded by such municipality or by order of the court and, if the funds of the municipality shall be insufficient to pay the amounts, the full faith, credit, and taxing power of the city, town, or village in which the applicable lands lie shall be pledged to such payment to the extent of the insufficiency. The local governing body of any city, town, or village may raise money by taxation to pay such amounts as the municipality lacks funds to pay, irrespective of any tax rate limits imposed by any general or special law. No obligation of a city, town, or village under this section shall be considered to be indebtedness for the purpose of any debt limit imposed by any general or special law.
(e) Title to the lands taken, or rights acquired, under this section shall vest in the municipality upon the filing for record of the municipality's order under subsection (a) of this section, unless previously acquired by deed or other appropriate instrument.
(f) The legality of any proceedings hereunder shall not be affected as to any person by a deficiency in the notice to any other person.
(g) If the necessity of the taking of any land for an urban renewal project is not sustained by the court, or if the taking of any such land is held to be invalid, the validity of bonds issued under subsection 3217(d) of this title shall not be affected; and the proceeds thereof may be expended for any lawful expenses of the project, and any excess proceeds may be expended for the lawful expenses of any other urban renewal project or for the payment of the principal of and interest on any outstanding general obligation of the city, town, or village issued for any purpose. (1964, No. 9 (Sp. Sess.), § 3, eff. March 5, 1964; amended 1965, No. 8; 1971, No. 185 (Adj. Sess.), § 202, eff. March 29, 1972; 1973, No. 193 (Adj. Sess.), § 3, eff. April 9, 1974; 1997, No. 161 (Adj. Sess.), § 19, eff. Jan. 1, 1998.)