by Rob Roper Much focus lately, both from our politicians and our media, has been on IBM, the potential sale of its Essex facility and the question of what will happen to its 4000 employees. The Greater Burlington Industrial Corporation (GBIC) has proposed, among other measures, making a $4.5 million cash payment – the entire newly formed Enterprise Investment Fund – to either IBM or the plant’s buyer to keep jobs here in Vermont.
Another storm is gathering west of Vermont and could hit later today. The NOAA forcast for Tuesday night states: "Showers and thunderstorms likely, mainly before midnight, then showers likely and possibly a thunderstorm after midnight. Some of the storms could produce small hail, gusty winds, and heavy rain. Cloudy, with a low around 60. South wind 3 to 7 mph. Chance of precipitation is 70%. New rainfall amounts between a half and three quarters of an inch possible."
Burlington has ordered new "smart meters" and will raise rates to make the city's public parking system more efficient and sustainable, which will include raising rates to generate about $500,000 more a year. Mayor Miro Weinberger today announced that the City of Burlington will implement several changes to the downtown parking system to both improve the customer experience and to ensure the City has a sustainable plan for maintaining the parking system and infrastructure in the downtown.
Elected officials, economic development representatives, and friends of SunCommon gathered in front of Sharon Academy’s 26-panel array Tuesday to celebrate the launch of SunCommon’s solar program into Orange and Windsor counties. SunCommon originally launched in central Vermont two years ago with a mission: to increase access to solar among everyday Vermonters and dramatically increase the amount of solar installations in the state.
A third facility recently joined Sonnax headquarters and distribution centers in Bellows Falls. On July 7, the employee-owned company purchased a former manufacturing space located only a quarter mile from existing Sonnax sites to house the company’s research and development teams.
A recent golf fundraiser raised six figures for a scholarship fund at Norwich University named in honor of fallen Navy SEAL Brian Bill, a 2001 Norwich graduate killed in a helicopter crash in Afghanistan three years ago. The third annual Brian Bill Memorial Golf Tournament exceeded its $100,000 goal last month, bringing in $135,000 for the Brian R. Bill Scholarship Fund. The scholarship offers financial help to Norwich students who are the sons and daughters of Navy SEALs or have served in the US Armed Forces Special Forces.
Vermont Student Assistance Corp, the state’s nonprofit corporate agency committed to the mission that all Vermonters can pursue education after high school, is advising Vermont students who filed FAFSAs to double-check their application. Updates by the federal government in this year’s online FAFSA, or Free Application for Federal Student Aid, allowed some filers to inaccurately report their income or assets. The errors result when dollars and cents are entered into the income and asset fields rather than whole dollar figures.
Vermont’s health care oversight authority, the Green Mountain Care Board, has cleared the way for the Visiting Nurse Association & Hospice of Southwestern Vermont Health Care (SVHC) in Bennington to transfer its operations to the Rutland Area Visiting Nurse Association & Hospice (RAVNAH). The new, larger entity will improve care coordination, expand services across Bennington County, and prepare the area for health care reform. The two organizations will move swiftly to begin combining operations, which will take effect October 1.
by Morgan True vtdigger.org Blue Cross Blue Shield of Vermont and one of its subsidiaries — the Vermont Health Plan — are appealing a decision by state regulators to reduce a rate increase request. The insurance company says the lower rate could hurt the solvency of the Vermont Health Plan.
Rutland-area businesses may be visited over the next few weeks by representatives from Efficiency Vermont. The energy efficiency utility is conducting research in an effort to update and improve their services for southern Vermont commercial customers. Efficiency Vermont offers technical assistance, rebates, and special financing to all Vermont businesses—thousands of which are already benefiting. Bonnie Hawley, of Hawley’s Florist in downtown Rutland, is saving $1,150 each year, after an initial $800 investment in her store’s lighting.
The University of Vermont has become affiliated with the Worker Rights Consortium (WRC), joining more than 180 U.S. colleges and universities. Chris McCabe, assistant vice president of marketing and business development, made the announcement. The Worker Rights Consortium is an independent labor rights monitoring organization, conducting investigations of working conditions in factories around the globe.