Long Trail Brewing Company will re-release Goodnight Irene Ale, a limited edition brown ale that supports the Vermont Food Bank and the Vermont Farm Disaster Relief Fund. Long Trail developed and first released Goodnight Irene Ale in September 2011, in conjunction with Farrell Distributing Co, and raised over $10,000 for the two charities last fall to help the people of Vermont recover after Hurricane Irene. ‘Vermont has come a long way since the devastation of Hurricane Irene last summer,’said Brian Walsh, CEO of Long Trail Brewing. ‘By re-introducing Goodnight Irene Ale, Long Trail continues to support the recovery effort by doing what we do best: brewing quality beer. Last year, we exclusively released Goodnight Irene in Vermont, and this year we are proud to introduce it in New Hampshire, Maine, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania so that more people will be able to taste this excellent beer while supporting Vermont’s recovery efforts.’Goodnight Irene Ale, an easy drinking brown ale, features caramel and chocolate malts balanced by a subtle, floral hop bitterness. Long Trail has brewed a limited quantity of Goodnight Irene Ale and it will be available in bars and restaurants across these states through out the later part of Summer and into early Fall. In addition, Long Trail has brought back its popular Goodnight Irene T-shirts, which sold out within days of their release last Fall. MORE ABOUT LONG TRAIL BREWING COMPANYLong Trail Brewing Company started in May of 1989 in the basement of the Bridgewater Mill Mall. By 1994 the company had outgrown its original space, and moved into a state-of-the-art brewery and visitor center in Bridgewater Corners. It is now one of the largest breweries in New England. Currently Long Trail sells into Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, the District of Columbia, and Virginia. The Visitor Center has become a premiere destination to tourists visiting the state and is open daily from 10AM-7PM. MORE ABOUT THE VERMONT FOOD BANK The Vermont Foodbank is the state’s largest hunger-relief organization, serving communities in all 14 counties of Vermont through a network of more than 280 food shelves, soup kitchens, shelters, senior centers and after-school programs. In FY2011, the Vermont Foodbank distributed more than 8 million pounds of food to as many as 86,000 Vermonters. The Vermont Foodbank, a member of Feeding America, is nationally recognized as one of the most effective and efficient nonprofits and food banks in the nation. To learn more about hunger in your community and to take action against hunger and poverty in Vermont, visit us on the web at www.vtfoodbank.org(link is external) MORE ABOUT THE VERMONT FARM DISASTER RELIEF FUND The Vermont Farm Disaster Relief Fund is managed by the Vermont Community Foundation. The Community Foundation was established in 1986 with a mission to grow philanthropy in the state and ensure that donors and nonprofits have the resources they need to be effective. They work with individuals, families, and wealth advisors to make charitable giving more enjoyable. They also offer services that help strengthen nonprofits. To learn more visit www.vermontcf.org(link is external) Bridgewater Corners, VT – 8.15.2012
Vermont Electric Cooperative, Inc,Vermont Electric Cooperative (VEC) is gearing up in preparation for an ice storm that is predicted to hit Northern Vermont’ on Saturday’ afternoon and continuing into’ Sunday. According to the National Weather Service, Vermont may see a mixture of snow, sleet, or ice. So far, predictions indicate that areas along the Champlain Valley and Northeast Kingdom could be the hardest hit.’ ‘ ‘ Depending on how the storm develops, a combination of precipitation and freezing temperatures could cause ice build-up on trees and power lines. When ice becomes about half an inch thick, tree limbs break and power lines sag, and outages can be extensive.‘We are very concerned that this has the potential to be a severe storm that could seriously impact VEC’s service territory,’ said Liz Gamache, VEC spokesperson. ‘We encourage members to prepare for possible multi-day outages.’VEC is preparing for the possibility of power outages and is securing resources. ‘We will keep members informed through VEC’s website, Facebook, Twitter, and media announcements,’ said Gamache.VEC offers the following safety advice:‘·’ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ Before outages occur, charge all cellphones. If you have a landline phone, make sure that it’s hard-wired and does not rely on electricity.‘·’ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ Fill a bathtub with water before you lose service so the water can be used to flush toilets when the power is out. PREVENT UNSUPERVISED BATHROOM ACCESS TO CHILDREN.‘·’ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ Treat any downed line as if it is live.’ Report the line to your electric utility and fire department, stay at least 50 feet away from the line, and keep children and pets away.‘·’ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ If power goes out, turn off all electrical appliances except one light so you’ll know when service returns.’ Then, turn equipment back on slowly.‘·’ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ If using a generator, read and follow the owner’s manual before starting it.’ Never operate a generator inside any structure or near a structure.’ Use a transfer switch to ensure electricity is not accidentally fed onto a line where line crews must work.‘·’ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ Keep freezers and refrigerators closed as much as possible to prevent food spoilage.‘·’ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ Never use grills inside garages, sheds or other buildings, as the fumes can be poisonous.‘·’ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ For other tips on planning for a winter storm, visit Vermont Emergency Management’s website at’ http://vem.vermont.gov/preparedness/hazards/winter(link is external)’ VEC members may report outages by calling’ 1-800-832-2667. For up-to-date outage information, please visit our website at’ www.vermontelectric.coop/outage(link is external).
Last week the Vermont House unanimously approved H4, a bill to ban the manufacture and sale of harmful plastic microbeads from personal care products and over the counter drugs. These plastic beads are problematic because they wash down drains, slip through wastewater treatment plants and end up in our waterways. Fish feed on this plastic junk food, mistaking the tiny beads for fish eggs. The plastics attract waterborne toxins which can be passed up the food chain to fish, wildlife and ultimately humans. Scientists have found high concentrations of plastics in US waterbodies. In 2012 researchers found microbead densities of 466,00 pieces per square kilometer in a section of Lake Erie. Microbeads have been found on Lake Champlain beaches. Photo by Alliance for the Great Lakes.”We don’t need plastic microbeads to clean our faces, teeth or bodies,” stated Lake Champlain Committee(link is external) Executive Director Lori Fisher. “There are safer, bio-degradable and non-polluting products that do a fine job of keeping us clean without taxing our wastewater treatment systems, degrading our waterways, and confusing the fish. Microbeads can’t be removed from our waterways once they are there, we must keep them from getting into the water in the first place.””Responsible companies already use the many safe, cost-effective, and natural alternatives to plastic microbeads,” noted Martin Wolf, Director of Sustainability and Authenticity at Seventh Generation. “Why should Vermonters have to pay to clean-up after companies that aren’t responsible?”The Vermont House bill would ban the manufacture of microbeads by December 31, 2017 and the sale of personal care products and over-the-counter drugs containing them by the following year. It still needs Senate approval. LCC has been working in support of the legislation with colleagues at Rozalia Project, Seventh Generation, Vermont Conservation Voters, and Vermont Public Interest Research Group. Take ActionPlease help usher the bill forward to passage by contacting your senators(link is external) and urging them to support H.4 as it came over from the House. Click here for further background(link is external) on the issue. Additionally, be sure that you’re not inadvertently using personal care products with plastic microbeads. There are plenty of effective soaps, toothpastes and body scrubs already on the market that don’t use plastics as cleaning agents. Common natural alternatives for exfoliates and abrasives include ground nut shells, jojoba, oatmeal, sea salt and almond meal. Read product labels carefully and avoid anything with “polyethylene”, “polypropylene”, or “polyolefin” in the ingredients.Source: Lake Champlain Committee(link is external) 1.30.2015
Vermont Business Magazine In the first half of 2015, the Vermont Community Loan Fund (VCLF) loaned $2,883,650 to Vermont’s small businesses, early education and child care programs, affordable housing developers, and facilities providing vital community services. VCLF Executive Director Will Belongia said, “For nearly three decades, the Loan Fund has been committed to creating opportunity and building healthy communities throughout Vermont.”“So far this year, our lending activities have advanced our mission to create and preserve quality Vermont jobs, safe and affordable homes, early care and community facilities, improving the quality of life for all Vermonters and the communities we call home,” Belongia added.Projects financed include:247 Pearl St., LLC, Burlington In Burlington, where the long-term housing vacancy rate averages 1% and affordable housing is urgently needed, 247 Pearl Street was an unused brownfield lot when VCLF collaborators Erik Hoekstra and Larry Williams from Redstone undertook this project to remediate and redevelop the site. The Loan Fund is financing construction of 29 rental apartments, four of which will be permanently affordable. The loan also created 32 construction jobs.ABC Academy, Milton ABC Academy is a full-day, year-round, child care program serving infants and toddlers alongside preschool and afterschool programs. VCLF helped them make facility improvements and purchase equipment. The loan preserved quality care for 22 children and will create opportunities for 16 new children and families; six jobs were preserved, and the three created.Aunt Sadie’s, LunenburgAunt Sadie’s manufactures and sells handmade artisanal candles, scented with natural essences and oils. VCLF helped them refinance existing debt, helping them become eligible for federal loan programs. The loan preserved four full-time jobs and one part-time job. auntsadiesonline.com(link is external) Outdoor Gear Exchange, Burlington (2 loans)Longtime VCLF partner Outdoor Gear Exchange used VCLF financing to purchase the Church Street home they had rented since 2011. These loans resulted in the preservation of 84 jobs and the creation of five new ones. gearx.comBurlington Housing Authority, Burlington Vermont’s oldest and largest municipally-based housing authority, BHA has been preserving and developing affordable housing in Burlington for over 50 years. This year, they partnered with the Howard Center for Developmental Services to develop a “community house” on two BHA-owned properties VCLF financed construction and rehabilitation of the property. The loan created six new affordable homes and seven construction jobs. burlingtonhousing.orgBus Barns Bond, Burlington The Bus Barns property, so-named as it was previously the site of Burlington’s City trolley barns, is on the State Registry of Historic Places. Now the historic site is being remediated and renovated to create 13 affordable rental homes in an area in which this is desperately needed. VCLF financing refinanced pre-existing debt, freeing up cash to keep the project moving forward. The loan also created 14 construction jobs.Hannon Home Center, MoretownSpecialists in kitchen & home design, and retailers of flooring, mattresses, appliances and more, Hannon Home Center used a VCLF loan for a number of purposes including inventory purchase, showroom remodeling and marketing. Now, HHC is able to hire two new employees to augment their team. hannonhomecenter.comHoriZinn Early Learning, VernonA 4-STARs-rated, licensed home provider, HoriZinn used VCLF financing for child care program-dedicated space. The loan preserves quality care for eight children and families, creates opportunities for four more and preserves one part-time and two full-time jobs.Little Lake Orchard, Wells Family farm Little Lake Orchard raises and sells strawberries, sweet corn, apples, pork and other delicious comestibles. They used VCLF financing to purchase equipment, make farm improvements, and to pay down existing credit card debt, putting them in a better position for the future. littlelakeorchard.com Living Well Community Care Home, Bristol and Burlington Living Well Community Care Home is a nonprofit licensed residential and assisted living care organization with facilities in Bristol and Burlington, providing service to many low-income and Medicaid clients. They used VCLF financing for predevelopment costs associated with the planning and expansion of their Burlington facility. The loan helps preserve care for 58 seniors, and preserves 30 jobs. livingwellcarehome.org Puddle Jumpers, ShelburneThis full-day, full-year, home-based, 5-STARs program used a VCLF loan for renovations and expansions to their facility. The loan preserves quality care for 10 children and their families.Rollo Cedar Sawmill of Vermont, SwantonDavid Rollo buys cedar logs from local area loggers and custom mills them into rough cut lumber for businesses and consumers throughout the northeast. He’ll use this loan to purchase a forklift and to refinance an earlier VCLF loan. cedarsawmillofvt.comShadow Creek Farm, FairfaxShadow Creek Farm leases land to grow vegetables for local restaurants and wholesalers. Planning become an organic and environmentally sustainable producer, they used VCLF financing to purchase new equipment and other sundries. They were referred to the Loan Fund by the Carrot Project (thecarrotproject.org) which supports small and mid-sized farms in accessing financing and technical assistance.Shires Housing, Bennington Shires Housing, a developer of affordable housing in southwestern Vermont, collaborated with the Bennington Historic Rehabilitation Project to rehab historic multi-family buildings on three Bennington properties. They used VCLF financing for predevelopment and construction costs. The loan built nine new affordable homes and generated 10 construction jobs. shireshousing.orgSunCommon, Waterbury (2 loans)SunCommon’s innovative approach to community-owned solar arrays is making solar energy affordable and available to a broad range of Vermonters. They used two recent VCLF loans to facilitate the production and installation of solar projects in Fairfield and Monkton. SunCommon currently employs 138 Vermonters. Suncommon.com Twin Pines Housing Trust, WilderTwin Pines Housing Trust develops and manages affordable housing in the Upper Valley. They used a loan to construct a new, energy efficient “VerMod” modular home to use as a sales model and, subsequently, to sell to a low-wealth/income qualifying Vermont family. The project is part of the Vermont Housing Conservation Board’s Shared Equity Program. tphtrust.orgThe Vermont Community Loan Fund (VCLF) is a mission-driven, community-focused alternative lender. Our mission is to create opportunities that lead to healthy communities and financial stability for all Vermonters. We develop and promote capital-based approaches to issues of poverty and opportunity.VCLF has lent over $88 million to local businesses, affordable housing developers and community-based organizations that has created or preserved 4,800 jobs; built or rehabilitated 3,600 affordable homes; created or preserved quality care for over 3,600 children and their families; and supported community organizations providing vital services to hundreds of thousands of Vermonters.
Vermont Business Magazine US Senators Ben Cardin (D-Md), Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif), and Patrick Leahy (D-Vermont) called Monday for the creation of an independent, nonpartisan commission to comprehensively investigate alleged Russian interference in the 2016 election. The commission would fully investigate alleged Russian cyberattacks on US political entities and election infrastructure, seek to identify those responsible, and recommend a response as well as actions the US can take to defend itself in the future. Modeled on other independent commissions, this body would compile all available classified intelligence and open source information, conduct hearings and interviews, with subpoena power, and report its findings to Congress within 18 months from being formed. The membership of the commission would be individuals appointed by the bipartisan, bicameral Congressional leadership.After the White House announced it was conducting its own review into alleged Russian interference in the election late last week, reporting in The Washington Post raised serious further questions about this matter. And in October, the Director of National Intelligence confirmed that senior-level Russian officials were involved in the hacks of the emails of the Democratic National Committee and the Hillary Clinton presidential campaign.The Senators’ announcement Monday complements the call by bipartisan leadership in the Senate for Congressional investigations as well as support in the House of Representatives for an independent commission.“We’ve seen what Russia can do with a MiG, but they can be equally destructive with a mouse. The American people deserve a nonpartisan, transparent, public investigation into this insidious attack on our democratic institutions,” said Senator Cardin, ranking member of the Foreign Relations Committee. “Elections and the peaceful transfer of power are the foundational elements of our democracy. They have been attacked and undermined by the world’s most destabilizing major power. As a nation it’s time to get to the bottom of it and learn what we can do to prevent it from ever happening again.”“For the last 20 years, as chairman or ranking member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, I have worked to protect the voting rights of all Americans. But the right to vote – the foundation of our democracy – is undermined if a foreign country can interfere with our democratic process,” said Senator Leahy, ranking member of the Senate Judiciary Committee. “It is time to rise above the fray and engage in a serious, independent, and bipartisan investigation of the allegations that the Russians interfered with the American presidential election. This is larger than any one candidate or any one election. This is about protecting our democracy now, and going forward.”“An attack against our election system is an attack on our very way of life and must not go unchallenged,” said Senator Feinstein, vice chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee. “We need this commission to determine if my personal belief is correct—that the real intent of what appears to be a classic Russian covert influence campaign was to harm the candidacy of the Democratic candidate or undermine our democratic system. This bipartisan commission will help identify the specific ‘actors’ responsible and recommend a possible course of action to prevent this from ever happening again.”About the Commission: The Commission to End Russian Interference in United States Elections will conduct a comprehensive review of Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election. The Commission will provide the Congress, the Executive Branch, and the U.S. public with full information regarding how alleged Russian interference may have affected the 2016 election, as well as recommendations to protect our elections going forward, so that the American people and their leaders can have faith and confidence in the integrity of our elections, our Constitution, and democratic form of government. The Commission will be bipartisan, with members appointed by Republican and Democratic leadership of the Senate and the House of Representatives. Members of Congress would not be members of the Committee. The Members of the Commission would have access to all unclassified and classified information, including subpoena power, regarding all Russian activities with regards to the 2016 Presidential election. The Commission will produce a Report within 18 months outlining the facts of what occurred, in an unclassified form with a classified annex, and make recommendations to the Congress and Executive on appropriate actions to defend our system of elections and government, including a plan to counter Russian interference in US elections. Vladimir Putin has repeatedly shown the world that he aggressively seeks to undermine the sovereignty of sovereign countries, democratic institutions, and the rule of law. He is a threat to democracy, peace, security, and human rights worldwide. The Commission’s report would show how and to what extent his activities, and the activities of those who do his bidding, impact the political system of United States and the American people.Source: Leahy 12.12.2016
“We are pleased to welcome the talented team at LEAF Commercial Capital to People’s United Bank,” said Jack Barnes, President and Chief Executive Officer. “LEAF is a highly-scalable commercial lending platform with attractive risk-adjusted returns and a complementary expansion of our existing specialty finance businesses. At closing, our equipment finance units will have approximately $4 billion of assets and rank as the 16th largest bank-owned equipment finance entity in the country.” Since 2002, LEAF has financed over $5.8 billion for more than 243,000 customers nationwide and provides expertise and equipment finance solutions to a wide variety of vendors and end users. LEAF has nationwide reach with approximately 250 employees and a call center in Orange County, CA as well as a sales and servicing facility in Moberly, MO. “LEAF offers creative lease and loan programs to drive the sales of its vendor partners,” said Jeff Tengel, Senior Executive Vice President of Commercial Banking at People’s United. “These programs are delivered through a business process automation platform that combines efficiency with an outstanding customer experience.””We are confident in our ability to maintain and accelerate our growth potential within People’s United,” said Crit DeMent, Chairman and CEO of LEAF Commercial Capital. “Given the Bank’s extensive experience in successfully operating leasing and equipment finance platforms, they are uniquely positioned to be a valuable partner for our clients and employees.” DeMent and Miles Herman, President and Chief Operating Officer, will remain with the business. Under the terms of the agreement, People’s United will acquire approximately $730 million of net investment in leases and loans and retain approximately $250 million of securitizations. Remaining LEAF borrowings are expected to be repaid at close and the acquisition will be immediately accretive to People’s United earnings. The transaction is expected to close during the third quarter of 2017.J.P. Morgan Securities LLC served as financial advisor and Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP served as legal counsel to People’s United Bank. Keefe, Bruyette & Woods, Inc. served as financial advisor and Winston & Strawn LLP served as legal counsel to LEAF Commercial Capital, Inc. About People’s United BankPeople’s United Bank(link is external), N.A. is a subsidiary of People’s United Financial, Inc. (NASDAQ: PBCT), a diversified financial services company with $40 billion in assets. People’s United Bank, founded in 1842, is a premier, community-based, regional bank in the Northeast offering commercial and retail banking, as well as wealth management services through a network of nearly 400 retail locations in Connecticut, New York, Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine.About LEAF Commercial Capital, Inc.LEAF Commercial Capital, Inc. (“LEAF”), headquartered in Philadelphia, PA, with offices in Moberly, MOand Orange, CA, is one of the leading equipment leasing and finance companies in the U.S. Through its highly automated origination platform, it facilitates the equipment needs of small, mid-sized and enterprise businesses. LEAF serves these needs both directly and through referral relationships with manufacturers, distributors and dealers of essential-use equipment and software in a variety of business sectors, including office products, telephony, technology, medical and light industrial. Learn more at www.LEAFnow.com(link is external).SOURCE: BRIDGEPORT, Conn., July 19, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — People’s United Bank People’s United Bank,Vermont Business Magazine People’s United Bank, NA announced today that it has entered into an agreement to acquire LEAF Commercial Capital, Inc. Based in Philadelphia, PA, LEAF is one of the largest, independent commercial equipment finance companies in the U.S., with approximately $500 million of annual originations.
Vermont Gas Systems Inc,Vermont Business Magazine Vermont Gas announced today that 507 families and businesses in Addison County have signed for service. Vermont Gas said these new customers will save money and reduce their carbon footprint by switching to natural gas service. The company has been installing service lines in Middlebury and Vergennes this summer since officially completing the Addison Natural Gas Project in April. Vermont Gas said will continue installing service lines into new communities in the coming years including Monkton, New Haven and Bristol.“We are thrilled to play an important role in the Addison County community and offer an energy choice that’s cleaner and more affordable than other alternatives,” said Don Rendall, President and CEO of Vermont Gas. “We are so glad the project is complete so that we can focus on what we do best: delivering great service to our customers, including energy efficiency, to help them reduce their energy needs and save even more.”Natural gas is a great energy option for families and businesses that want to save money and increase reliability, the company said in a press release. Customers who choose natural gas today can see savings in their heating bills – almost $1,000 per year just by making the switch, VGS said. Customers who participate in the company’s award-winning efficiency programs will also see additional monthly savings, with no worry about running out of fuel or scheduling a delivery.“I’m extremely pleased to have finally converted my home from oil to natural gas. In addition to the fuel cost savings, I anticipate savings from reduced boiler maintenance and increased heating reliability,” said Nick Artim, of Middlebury. “The conversion process was easy and the Vermont Gas crews were extremely professional. Now I’m ready for the winter.”Converting to natural gas is easy and affordable. Vermont Gas will guide new customers every step of the way and provide access to the company’s energy efficiency program that offer incentives and rebates on equipment, appliances, and upgrades.“We’re just getting started with service to Addison County and look forward to serving many more in the community in the coming years,” Rendall said.Vermont Gas had suffered through cost hikes, protests and construction delays before completing the pipeline. Former Governor Shumlin was a strong supporter of the pipeline, which he saw as an economic and environmental opportunity. The project, which envisioned going to the International Paper plant in Ticonderoga, NY, and perhaps even to Rutland, was truncated at Middlebury as costs rose here and across the nation. The IP contract was cancelled in February 2015 and there are no plans to extend the pipeline to Rutland.Virulent opposition came from groups as diverse as landowners, fracking opponents and the AARP. It also fired its first contractor. The original cost of the project was $86 million, it then went to $121.6 million and $153.6 million. Vermont Gas has agreed to cap the ratepayer cost at $134 million regardless of the ultimate cost and absorb the rest.VGS’ Certificate of Public Good was issued by the PSB (now PUC) on December 13, 2013. The 41-mile Addison Natural Gas Project began construction in July 2014.About Vermont GasVermont Gas Systems is a leader in energy efficiency and innovation, offering a clean, safe, affordable choice for over 50,000 homes, businesses, and institutions in Franklin, Chittenden and Addison counties. The company plays an important role in Vermont’s clean energy future by displacing higher-emitting fuels and with its award-winning energy efficiency programs. For more information about Vermont Gas visit www.VermontGas.com(link is external).RELATED: Vermont Gas completes 41-mile expansion, begins serving customers in MiddleburySource: Vermont Gas. 8.23.2017VBM vermontbiz.com
EDF Renewables,groSolar’s Town of Ontario Solar Project. (Photo: Business Wire)Vermont Business Magazine groSolar, a renewable energy company(link is external) based in White River Junction, Vermont, and the Town of Ontario, New York, have completed the Town of Ontario Solar Project(link is external), located on land shared with the town’s wastewater treatment facility. The project will be dedicated today. It was to have gone online last January, but a winter storm the previous November damaged some of the panels and structure delaying the timeline.“Ontario further solidifies our commitment to sustainable growth, smart government, and diversity of energy resources,” said John Smith, Town of Ontario, Town Supervisor.“The project is an excellent example of how municipalities, state agencies, and private companies are collaborating to bring new sources of distributed power generation to communities across the country,” said Timothy Heinle, groSolar Vice President.The project will generate approximately 3,500,000 kilowatt-hours of clean renewable energy in its first full year of operation; enough electricity to power more than 250 homes and offset nearly 2,500 metric tons of carbon dioxide produced by more traditional energy generation sources. The project further provides power at a fixed price to the Town of Ontario for the next 25 years; offering the town substantial savings and insulation from volatile energy prices.Local news reports(link is external) say the town expects to save upwards of $4 million over the next 25 years.The project was made possible by the leadership of the Town of Ontario, Town Supervisor John Smith and funding through Governor Cuomo’s NY-Sun initiative which is building a self-sustaining solar industry in New York. The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) administers NY-Sun.“Under Governor Cuomo’s Reforming the Energy Vision (REV) strategy(link is external), solar power is integral to driving the state’s clean energy economy while reducing harmful greenhouse gas emissions,” said Alicia Barton, President and CEO, NYSERDA. “The Town of Ontario Solar Project serves as a model for other communities across the state that want to reduce energy costs and create a clean, sustainable future.”On Wednesday, September 20th, the Town of Ontario and groSolar will welcome project stakeholders and community members to celebrate the completion of construction. “groSolar is excited to continue its work with communities across New York and support the state’s renewable energy goals with our industry leading solar solutions,” said Heinle.About groSolargroSolar is an industry-leading large commercial and utility-scale solar engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) firm serving the 500 kw to 50 MW market. For 20 years, groSolar has been dedicated to high quality, on time, and on budget project performance. With over 2,200 installations across North America, groSolar’s experience spans a broad spectrum of applications. These include design and build applications atop brownfields/landfills, commercial, educational, municipal facilities, and manufacturing plants. groSolar provides a one stop source for all your solar project needs including on-going operations and maintenance. groSolar is a wholly-owned subsidiary of EDF Renewable Energy(link is external). Learn more at www.grosolar.com(link is external).Source: WHITE RIVER JUNCTION, Vt. & COLUMBIA, Md.–(BUSINESS WIRE(link is external))–groSolar(link is external)
Public Assets Institute With 25 percent more Vermonters living in poverty than in the early 2000s, median household income stagnant, and high-quality child care still not affordable or even available to many Vermont families, the state’s elected officials need to focus on addressing these and other foundational issues in the next biennium. To move Vermont forward, policy makers need to zero in on three fundamental initiatives:Make work pay and ensure that all Vermonters can meet basic needs.Make smart, evidence-based investments in programs and infrastructure.Make state government more effective by increasing public engagement, fairness, and transparency.Those are the recommendations contained in A Framework for Progress: Investing in Vermont’s people, infrastructure, and good government(link is external), a report released today by Public Assets Institute in Montpelier.“To make progress for Vermonters, the Legislature and administration need to take strategic action this biennium,” said Paul Cillo, president and executive director of Public Assets. “Economic growth won’t be shared by all Vermonters without policy changes. State government has an important responsibility in improving Vermonters’ lives.”The report recommends that the minimum wage should be enough to support a family and keep up with rising costs, and that affordable, high-quality child care is available to all who need it.“Elected officials also need to make smart investments that benefit all the state’s residents and take steps to make state government more effective,” Cillo said.Public Assets Institute is a non-profit, non-partisan organization based in Montpelier that believes Vermont should be a state where communities thrive and the economy works for all Vermonters. Toward that goal, it conducts research and analysis on state tax, budget, and economic policies.The recommendations in A Framework for Progress are offered to further the public debate this fall and into the next legislative biennium. They focus on actions elected officials can take to deploy public resources more effectively to serve the common good. The list is neither comprehensive nor exclusive. But these policy changes would provide a solid foundation for restoring our infrastructure, bettering the lives of low- and moderate-income Vermonters, and improving the policymaking process itself.Some of those include eliminating the education property tax on a primary residence and basing resident school taxes solely on income; institute a carbon pollution tax—necessary to combat climate change—which would reducegasoline and diesel consumption further; fully fund the Vermont Housing and Conservation Board; and make needed repairs to Vermont’s water and wastewater systems.A Framework for Progress is a companion document to Public Assets’ State of Working Vermont report, released each December, which provides the data and analysis behind these recommendations. Public Assets Institute is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization based in Montpelier that promotes sound state budget and tax policies that benefit all Vermonters. More information at www.publicassets.org(link is external)
Castleton University,Vermont Business Magazine Castleton University has received a $2.25 million Title III grant from the US Department of Education, under the Strengthening Institutions Program. The funds, awarded over five years, will support new initiatives designed to improve student success, address student needs, and bolster the University’s persistence and completion rates. The University will focus on developing a digital learning commons, providing additional resources for institutional research, upgrades to classroom technology and infrastructure, and more.”I am incredibly proud of the hardworking team that completed this successful proposal, and I am excited for the opportunities this grant will provide for us to better engage our students and ensure that they have the resources they need to complete their degree,” Castleton President Dr. Karen M. Scolforo said.The Federal Title III Strengthening Institutions Program helps eligible colleges and universities expand their capacity to serve low-income students by providing funds to improve and strengthen academic quality and institutional management. The grants – which are highly competitive – may be used for planning, and faculty development. Administrative management and the development and improvement of academic programming are also supported.”The Title III grant will help Castleton to reduce the gaps we’ve identified in student achievement and remove barriers to student success by aligning our students’ needs with increased support,” Provost Dr. Thomas Mauhs-Pugh said. “We believe this grant will have a profound impact on how we serve our students.”The Castleton University Title III Strengthening Institutions Program grant is 100% federally funded at $449,083 annually.View Online: http://castleton.meritpages.com/news/Castleton-University-Receives-2-25-Million-Federal-Education-Grant/11536(link is external)Source: CASTLETON, VT (10/03/2019) Castleton University