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Feds kick in $1.4 million to help redevelop Burlington's Moran plant

Wed, 09/28/2016 - 4:39pm -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine US Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker today announced that the Department’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) is awarding a $1.4 million grant to the city of Burlington to help restore, redevelop, and enhance resiliency of the Moran Plant, a former Municipal Electric Generating Station and nationally recognized historic site.

Burlington to create downtown energy district to capture wasted heat

Wed, 09/28/2016 - 4:01pm -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine The City of Burlington wants to use waste heat from several major sources around town, which otherwise would be vented into the atmosphere, and use it to heat buildings and create hot water. Mayor Miro Weinberger today at a news conference outside the Burlington Town Center announced the formation of a unique City partnership with institutions, utilities, district energy advocates, and landowners to bring Burlington the potential for significant energy savings. Through the new partnership, the Burlington Electric Department on behalf of the City, Vermont Gas Systems, the Burlington Town Center, the University of Vermont Medical Center, the University of Vermont, and the Burlington District Energy System together will work with Corix Utilities to explore the potential of creating a district energy system that likely would begin in the downtown and expand to include capturing waste heat from Burlington Electric’s McNeil Generating Station.

School board, Burlington teachers union might resume talks

Wed, 09/28/2016 - 12:53pm -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine The Burlington Board of School Commissioners said today that it and the teachers' union (Burlington Education Association) are considering resuming negotiations on a new contract. Talks broke down two weeks ago as the two sides remained narrowly apart on salary increases, with a one percent increase in health insurance obligations. The board on September 15 then imposed a new salary structure on the teachers, which reflected its last offer. The teachers yesterday staged an "informational strike," which included 300 members, supporters and parents.

Unpermitted salvage yard in Vershire leaks chemicals, fined $29,000

Wed, 09/28/2016 - 12:39pm -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine An unpermitted salvage yard operating in Vershire is now required to pay a $29,000 penalty after failing to follow orders to clean-up oil and gasoline spills and wastes on its property. The Agency of Natural Resources announced today the issuance of a Judgment Order against Allen LaFlamme, owner of Allen’s Affordable Auto Salvage in Vershire, for multiple violations of Vermont Salvage Yard and Hazardous Waste laws. LaFlamme must pay a $29,000 penalty and comply with corrective actions.

Howard Center, union ratify contract

Wed, 09/28/2016 - 10:29am -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine Howard Center management has confirmed that the agency’s Board of Trustees have approved a two-year contract with Local 1674 of AFSCME Council 93, which represents 723 Howard Center direct care workers, 112 of whom are members of the union. The agency, based in Burlington, employs over 1500 employees. 

Tourism commissioner releases October newsletter

Wed, 09/28/2016 - 10:17am -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine Tourism Commissioner Megan Smith released her October newsletter and fall travel and tourism report today. Along with the foliage report and information on Market Vermont, among other news, Smith talks about how now is also a great time for continuing, or beginning, a partnership with Discover New England (DNE), the nonprofit cooperative destination marketing organization that promotes New England tourism internationally.

USDA and RuralEdge improve affordable housing for Orleans residents

Wed, 09/28/2016 - 3:34am -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine Rural Housing Service Deputy Administrator, Bryan Hooper, the top multi-family housing official for the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), was in Lyndonville Friday to celebrate nearly $2 million of USDA loans that will help RuralEdge rehabilitate aging housing stock. The funding comes as part of the Agency’s Rural Economic Area Partnership (REAP) Zone whose mission is to improve the quality of life in Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom through investing in housing, job creation and community infrastructure. 

Hoffer: For jobs and the economy, facts matter

Tue, 09/27/2016 - 10:47pm -- tim

by Doug Hoffer Voters receive a lot of information during campaigns and it’s important to check the facts. For example, Lieutenant Governor Scott recently said “We’ve lost nearly 2,500 workers per year since 2010” (August 31 Burlington Free Press). This is true, but misleading. Workers are part of the labor force, which consists of those who are working and those who are unemployed but want to work. The issue is that counting workers is not the same as counting jobs.

Vermont attorney general sues operators of drive-in movie theater

Tue, 09/27/2016 - 4:19pm -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine The Vermont Attorney General’s Office has sued a New Hampshire couple for illegally soliciting contributions for a digital projector to “save” the Randall Drive-In located in Bethel. “Crowdfunding can be a legitimate way to raise money for a cause, but it is also subject to abuse. Those who rip off Vermonters through improper use of crowdfunding can expect to be held accountable for their illegal acts,” said Attorney General Bill Sorrell.

Welch pushes to rein in skyrocketing prescription drug prices

Tue, 09/27/2016 - 12:48pm -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine Representative Peter Welch (D-VT) today introduced bipartisan legislation with Representative Morgan Griffith (R-VA) that would address a loophole in the Medicare 340B Drug Pricing Program that is contributing to the rising cost of health care for consumers and threatening access to lifesaving medications. The introduction of this legislation is the latest in Welch’s efforts to fix the broken prescription drug market that has led to unrestrained price increases for consumers and providers.