by Joyce Marcel, Vermont Business Magazine A visionary lives in the future. Mary Powell, who has just stepped down after 12 years as CEO of Green Mountain Power, lives in many futures. Vermont has benefited greatly from her visions. In 2012, it was impressive when Powell combined two utilities into one (Central Vermont Public Service). Then she introduced Vermonters to heat pumps and the Powerwall storage battery. She made sure to have line crews standing ready all over the state whenever storms were predicted. She significantly reduced Vermont's carbon footprint. She created the first B-Corp utility in the country, committing to the use of business as a force for good. In 2019 she was voted the best utility executive in the United States.
Vermont Business Magazine The Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food & Markets (VAAFM) announces the availability of grant funds for the purpose of strengthening Vermont’s specialty crop industries and improving the performance of Vermont specialty crops within local, domestic, and international markets. Specialty crops are defined as fruits, vegetables, tree nuts, dried fruits, horticulture crops (including honey, hops, and maple syrup), and nursery crops (including Christmas trees and floriculture). VAAFM plans to award approximately $200,000 in Specialty Crop Block Grant Program (SCBGP) funds in 2020.
Vermont Business Magazine Brenda Siegel, 2018 candidate for governor and long time political activist announces her run for Lieutenant Governor as a Democrat. Siegel is the founder and director of the Southern Vermont Dance Festival, a writer of political and socio-economic commentaries and proud single mom.
Vermont Business Magazine Teams of preservation specialists will raise the historic Roslyn Grist Mill eight feet off its’ current 114-year old foundation so a new foundation can be poured. While the mill is being lifted, workers will quickly add sections of timber cribbing to account for the additional height. The new, expanded headroom will allow workers to excavate the existing foundation and begin construction on a new water-tight foundation. During this time, timber frame specialists using centuries-old wood restoration methods will remove and restore deteriorated columns and support beams. Upon completion of the foundation and timber restoration later this year, the mill will be lowered four feet to street level in order to provide safe public access to the mill for future use as an education center. It will be the first time the building will be at street level in over 100 years.
Vermont Business Magazine Today, the Vermont Supreme Court issued a unanimous decision in its review of an appeal of the Vermont Public Utility Commission (PUC)’s order approving the sale of Burlington Telecom to Champlain Broadband, a subsidiary of Schurz Communications. The Court ruled: “Upending the sales transaction reached by petitioners in this proceeding would likely impose additional financial burdens on Burlington Telecom customers and City taxpayers.
Vermont Business Magazine The Vermont Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) is creating a new five-year Consolidated Plan to develop local funding priorities for the program years 2020-2024. This plan is the State’s application for more than $10 million in annual grant funding provided to the state by US Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) Office of Community Planning and Development.
Vermont Business Magazine Governor Phil Scott today announced that President Donald Trump has signed a Major Disaster declaration for public infrastructure damage caused by severe storms and flooding throughout Vermont, which occurred on October 31 and November 1, 2019. The declaration will provide federal assistance for repairs to public infrastructure in Addison, Chittenden, Essex, Franklin, Lamoille, Orange, Orleans and Washington counties.
Vermont Business Magazine Secretary of State Jim Condos has announced that the early voting period for the 2020 Presidential Primary Elections begins officially today – Friday, January 17. Vermont voters may request their ballot to vote early any day leading up to the March 3rd Presidential Primary Election day. Ballot requests can be made with local Town and City Clerks by phone, email, walk-in or online at mvp.sec.state.vt.us.
Vermont Business Magazine The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today announced more than $230,000 in grants to the state of Vermont for state-led programs and projects that will protect, manage and restore wetlands across the state. The Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) received $190,944 in grants and the Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department received $45,000. EPA expects to award a second round of these grants in the same amounts later this year.
Vermont Business Magazine Union Bankshares, Inc (NASDAQ - UNB) today announced results for the three and twelve months ended December 31, 2019. Net income was $2.8 million and $10.6 million for the three and twelve months ended December 31, 2019, resulting in earnings per share of $0.61 and $2.38 for the same periods, respectively. The Board of Directors also declared a cash dividend of $0.32 per share for the quarter, an increase of 3.2% from the cash dividend of $0.31 paid in recent prior quarters, payable February 6, 2020 to shareholders of record as of January 27, 2020.
Vermont Business Magazine The Agency of Natural Resources Department of Environmental Conservation has announced that Two Go Dry Cleaning, Inc, owner of Greers Dry Cleaners in Burlington, was fined $8,000 for failing to maintain a dry-cleaning system that prevents leaks of the toxic solvent perchloroethylene, and for mismanaging contaminated waste materials.
Vermont Business Magazine Sugarbush Resort continues to expand its fleet of electric vehicle charging stations, this time adding nine new chargers to Mt Ellen. As with past charging station installation, Sugarbush Resort has partnered with Apex Solar Power and Green Mountain Power to install the chargers. All nine of the universal level 2 chargers are free for public use. Of the nine, eight are located in Lot 3 and the ninth is handicap accessible next to the Mt. Ellen Base Lodge.