Gov. Shumlin, neighbor strike deal over disputed property - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Gov. Shumlin, neighbor strike deal over disputed property

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Jerry Dodge Jerry Dodge
Gov. Peter Shumlin Gov. Peter Shumlin
EAST MONTPELIER, Vt. -

It's a controversial land deal that's captured the attention of voters and dominated the news.

WCAX News has exclusive details about a compromise Gov. Peter Shumlin has reached with his East Montpelier neighbor.

Jerry Dodge vowed to buy back his homestead after selling it to the governor last November.

Dodge has been renovating the rundown property in the meantime.

The odds, once seemed stacked against the impoverished East Montpelier man. Dodge was behind on his taxes and agreed to sell 16 acres and his home to the governor for $58,000 rather than lose it in a tax sale.

After the deal was done, Dodge's loved ones told him he made a mistake and argued he was not mentally capable taking on the governor in negotiations without a lawyer.

Shumlin initially defended the deal as fair, but last month agreed to renegotiate. Both sides lawyered up.

Wednesday night, WCAX learned the two sides struck a deal. Dodge's lawyer, Brady Toensing, says his client will be allowed to buy back his homestead by paying Shumlin off over the next five years.

However, Toensing would not say what that price tag is, stressing those parameters have yet to be reached.

In a brief phone conversation with Jerry Dodge, he said he was happy to hear news of the deal and said keeping his land is all he ever wanted.

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