Current News

by tim

J.D. Power and Associates has ranked Central Vermont Public Service second in the East for customer satisfaction among midsized utilities. In J.D. Power and Associates study results released today, CVPS also ranked second in the East Midsize segment for the corporate citizenship and communications factors. The company ranked above the regional average for midsized utilities in all J.D. Power and Associates factors, including customer service, billing & payment, communications, power quality & reliability, price and corporate citizenship.
Our employees work extremely hard to provide customers a high level of customer service and reliability, while caring for the environment and the communities we serve, all at a reasonable cost, President Bob Young said. That s an extremely challenging goal, one we will continue to focus on in the years ahead.

by tim

Union Bankshares, Inc. (NASDAQ UNB) today announced net income for the quarter ended June 30, 2009 was $1.23 million or $0.28 per share compared to $1.19 million or $0.27 per share for the same period in 2008. Net Income year to date was $2.50 million or $0.56 per share for 2009 compared to $2.60 million or $0.58 per share for 2008. Total Assets have grown $29.3 million, or 7.4%, to $424.9 million at June 30, 2009 from $395.6 at June 30, 2008 while total deposits have grown $27.1 million, or 8.5%, to $347.9 million at June 30, 2009 from $320.8 million at June 30, 2008. A quarterly cash dividend of $.25 per share was declared on July 15, 2009 to shareholders of record July 25, 2009, payable August 6, 2009.

by tim

FairPoint Communications, Inc. (NYSE: FRP) announced today a number of organizational changes. David Hauser, chairman and chief executive officer of FairPoint Communications, announced that effective immediately he is making several organizational changes in order to position the company to better tackle the integration issues of its systems in northern New England. Executive Vice President Jeff Allen of Essex Junction, Vermont, will now oversee all of FairPoint s Northern New England Operations.
Over the past two weeks I have met with FairPoint s leadership team to assess our situation, said Hauser. From these meetings one thing is very clear to me. We must direct our full attention to tackle the integration of our systems serving northern New England. These changes will help FairPoint more effectively address the systems issues and address them quickly.

by tim

US Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), US Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), and US Representative Peter Welch (D-Vt.) on Wednesday announced $683,388 in recovery funding for Barre, Vermont's Northern Power Systems. Northern Power was one of just 28 wind energy projects nationwide to receive nearly $13.8 million in Department of Energy funding intended for research, testing and analysis. The federal investment was made possible by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.
In announcing the funding, Department of Energy Secretary Steven Chu noted that wind power capacity in the U.S. increased by 8,558 megawatts in 2008. A nationwide investment of $16 billion in 2008 made the U.S. the fastest-growing wind power market in the world for the fourth consecutive year.

by tim

State officials are hinting that the revised revenue expectations for the current fiscal year (FY 2010) will be downgraded when the Vermont Emergency Board meets Thursday with the economists representing the Douglas Administration and the Legislature. Already Speaker of the House Smith is asking legislators to look at efficiencies to save upwards of $30 million this fiscal year, while Administration Secretary Lunderville is looking at saving $15 million to $30 million by holding back payments to departments an average of 2 percent (the range he said would be 0-3 percent). Legislators have suggested that the administration cannot do that because it would become a de facto budget cut, which would require legislative approval first. Legislators were also skeptical that more efficiencies could be found given the difficult task of cutting the budget in the first place.

by tim

Onion River Co-op Board of Directors announced the ratification of a one-year labor contract between the Co-op and the United Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers Union representing the Co-op’s hourly employees.
Through thoughtful and diligent negotiations, the Co-op was able to maintain fully paid single medical coverage for all full-time employees which affect the majority of City Market employees. For part-time employees, 65% of the single medical premium is paid. The Co-op medical benefits exceed those offered by competitors and other area employers according to the 2008 Hickok & Boardman benefits survey. The Co-op also plans to provide a three percent wage increase to employees and profit sharing based on quarterly sales growth.

by tim

The Woodstock (Vermont) Farmers Market has been selected Retailer of the Year by the National Association for the Specialty Food Trade, a major trade association of the food industry. The honorees include 4 other markets nationwide and range from a major specialty supermarket chain in St. Louis to a family owned six-store specialty food chain in Eastern Virginia. The Woodstock Farmers Market has been serving fresh meats, seafood, produce and specialty groceries, along with take-away breakfast lunch and dinner at its single store location for over 17 years.

by tim

Today the Vermont Department of Public Service filed a Show Cause Petition with the Public Service Board, requesting an investigation to determine if FairPoint Communications is capable of continuing its telecommunications in the state. At stake is the company s Certificate of Public Good , or CPG which is their license to conduct business as a regulated utility in the state. The request for a Show Cause investigation is intended to determine if the company is capable of recovering from its current situation and continuing to conduct business in the state.

by tim

Prices for construction materials inched up 1.0 percent in June 2009, according to the July 14 producer price index (PPI) report by the U.S. Labor Department. Still, prices are down 6.1 percent from June 2008.

by tim

Testifying before a House Agriculture subcommittee Tuesday morning, Rep. Peter Welch sounded the alarm that Vermont s dairy industry is on the brink of collapse. Welch called on the subcommittee to take immediate action to save Vermont s family farms while working on a long-term solution to the persistent problem of severe price volatility.
Welch was invited to testify before the House Agriculture Subcommittee on Livestock, Dairy and Poultry about the growing dairy crisis in Vermont. Welch spoke about the hardship facing Vermonters in the industry including family farmers Bob and Beth Kennett of Rochester and feed dealer Art Whitman of North Bennington.

by tim

Union Bank s Duwella Stewart was honored by the Vermont Bankers Association for her 50 years of service in local banking with Union Bank. During her tenure at the Bank, she has served as Personal Banker, Teller, Special Project Supervisor (Union Bank Calendars), Bookkeeper, Proof Operator and more. She has also been involved in the Bank s local fund raising initiatives, including the Lamoille Area Cancer Network, the March of Dimes and many others.
Duwella s knowledge and experience in our community and within Union Bank is remarkable, states Ken Gibbons, Union Bank President. We are pleased that the Vermont Bankers Association has recognized Duwella s ongoing contribution to community and local banking.
Ms. Stewart resides in Morrisville.

by tim

Mack Molding Co. is today announcing the formation of its medical products group, which the company is branding MackMedical. Located at Mack’s headquarters in Arlington, Vt., MackMedical is a focused group of staff --product development, program management, quality, regulatory, document control, purchasing, sales and production -- that is skilled in medical manufacturing. They manage all medical accounts, from upfront engineering through final manufacturing and distribution.
“We have been aggressively developing the medical manufacturing sector of our business for the past nine years by refining quality and supply management systems, hiring specialized staff, and adding new technology,” says Jeff Somple, president of Mack Molding’s Northern Division.