STRATTON, Vt. (AP) _ If only it snowed on the mountain and never on village sidewalks.

The Stratton Mountain ski resort hasn't quite arranged that, but it has worked out the next best thing: snowmaking on the mountain and heated sidewalks to melt whatever nature dumps in the wrong places.

The warm sidewalks are part of a $3 million project to spruce up the village and convert it from a Bavarian-style setting to a New England one.

Workers have torn up the walkways and are installing miles of plastic pipe that will carry antifreeze to keep the village snowless, slushless and ice-free. Stratton typically gets more than 14 feet of snow.

Tim Waker, whose heating and plumbing crews are installing the system, said the $250,000 project will pay for itself in five or six years by reducing snow removal costs.

``The store owners are happy about it too, because skiers won't be tracking in snow and dirt into their stores,'' he added.