The Vermont State Treasurers Office has unveiled an initiative to invest a significant portion of Vermonts short-term cash in Vermont Banks. Currently, such funds are invested primarily in government agency securities, high quality corporate commercial paper, and money market accounts at large financial institutions. The new Treasurers Bank in Vermont Program is consistent with an ongoing effort by State Treasurer Jeb Spaulding to support Vermont-based financial institutions when acceptable rates of return can be achieved.According to Treasurer Spaulding, We are inviting banks to participate in a certificate of deposit (CD) program designed to support community banking, while earning a competitive return on State funds. We will invest on a predictable basis, via a competitive bidding process, in banks with branches in Vermont. The program is designed to be attractive to a wide range of banking institutions and is predicated on the belief that investing Vermont funds in Vermont, consistent with earning a competitive rate of return, is a good policy.Banks will be pre-approved by the Office of the State Treasurer for maximum levels of investment based on a bank’s size and other factors. In addition, participating banks must have at least a satisfactory rating under the federal Community Reinvestment Act of 1977. State funds will be available for bid in various maturities, based on State cash flow projections and projected interest rates. Participating banks will submit bids through the Internet and/or e-mail. The Office of the State Treasurer will award CDs based on rank order of quoted rates and associated dollar levels until the funds are depleted for each scheduled bidding period.Chris D’Elia, Executive Director of the Vermont Bankers Association, reacted to Spauldings initiative positively. “Vermont’s banking community welcomes the opportunity to work with the Treasurer’s Office on implementing this new program. This effort will keep investment funds within Vermont, thus allowing them to be utilized to encourage new economic activity, he said.Kenneth Perine, President of the National Bank of Middlebury, explained his support of the Bank in Vermont Program by saying, I am pleased to see efforts that recognize Vermonts banking institutions as a viable alternative for State of Vermont investments, and am pleased by Treasurer Spauldings effort to reach out to Vermont bankers in designing this program.Other examples of Treasurer Spauldings commitment to supporting Vermont institutions include investments in the Vermont Community Loan Fund and the Vermont Development Credit Union. In addition, the three investment firms used by the Treasurers Office to manage longer-term funds are all based in Vermont. They are National Life Capital Management, Hanson Investment Management, and Prentiss Smith & Company.
Fonda Group closes St Albans plantThe Fonda Group, a manufacturer of decorative paper products, will close its St Albans plant November 1 as part of a consolidation by its parent corporation Solo Cup Company.All 168 jobs in Vermont will be lost, though employees are encouraged to apply for other jobs in the Solo company across the country. The nearest such facility is in North Andover in eastern Massachusetts.Fonda is one of St Albans oldest companies, going back 63 years. Fonda was bought by Solo in February 2003. Its other product lines include Sweetheart and Lily.
GREEN MOUNTAIN POWER RENEWABLE ENERGY RATE REVISEDTO SUPPORT VERMONT PROJECTs COLCHESTER, VT… (November 30, 2007) The Vermont Public Service Board today approved revisions to Green Mountain Power’s renewable energy rate, called GreenerGMP. The revisions allow Green Mountain Power to use all the proceeds from the customers purchasing energy under GreenerGMP to purchase Vermont renewable energy projects as they become available, rather than renewable resources elsewhere in New England. “We already have more than 500 customers participating in GreenerGMP, and we believe these changes will make our renewable energy program more attractive to more of our customers,” said Mary Powell, senior vice president and chief operating officer. “We believe Vermonters prefer to support local projects and we are working on several fronts to be able to offer local renewable energy projects to our GreenerGMP customers.” In addition to targeting Vermont projects, revisions to the program include simplifying the way the rate is calculated, which will make the program easier to communicate, easier to understand and less costly to administer. Green Mountain Power worked closely with Renewable Energy Vermont in redesigning the program. Sam Swanson, Chair of the Board of Directors of Renewable Energy Vermont said, “We appreciate that Green Mountain Power’s revised program will help support the development of new renewable power in Vermont, an important industry in this state. In addition, we believe that the new program design may stabilize the renewable rate it charges customers over the long run by encouraging long term renewable energy purchase commitments.” “We are grateful to all the help we received from Renewable Energy Vermont in thinking through ways to improve our program,” said Ms. Powell. “The expertise of our local renewable energy community is a wonderful resource and invaluable to us as we move forward.” Green Mountain Power (www.greenmountainpower.biz(link is external)) is an electric utility owned by Northern New England Energy Corporation, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Gaz Métro, a leading Québec energy company with a long history of investment in Vermont. Green Mountain Power transmits, distributes and sells electricity and utility construction services in the State of Vermont in a service territory with approximately one quarter of Vermont’s population. It serves approximately 92,000 customers.-30-
Governor Peter Shumlin today announced that Karen Marshall, a Chittenden County business executive and community leader, will take the position of Chief of Connect VT. Marshall will be responsible for implementing Gov. Shumlin’s plan to achieve universal availability of broadband and mobile phone service.‘Connect VT is one of the most important initiatives of my administration,’ the Governor said. ‘It is vital that the telecommunication highway is in place for Vermonters by the end of 2013. It will connect our economic engines to the global marketplace, and enable our health care providers to be at the forefront of innovative, cost effective delivery and administration of health care.’‘Karen will work with private sector companies and utilities that are deploying roughly $410 million of federal funding and their own capital to do this,’ said Administration Secretary Jeb Spaulding. ‘She will also be engaged in efforts across state government to use broadband to improve the way that public services are delivered.’Prior to this appointment, Marshall served as Chief Operating Officer at SecurShred, a Vermont owned and operated business providing confidential document shredding, imaging, storage and electronic waste services throughout the region. Prior to that, she served as Vice President Northern New England for Comcast Spotlight, the advertising division of Comcast Cable, and Vice President/Vermont for Clear Channel Communications, where she managed 15 radio stations.Marshall has played an active role in community service, as well, serving currently as Chair of the Vermont Economic Progress Council, a board member of the Visiting Nurse Association of Chittenden and Grand Isle counties, the Lake Champlain Regional Chamber of Commerce, and UVM’s Athletic Advisory Council.Marshall, who lives in Williston, will join the Agency of Administration. Her salary will be $115,000.Shumlin’s office. 1.27.2011
Governor Peter Shumlin today signed the state’s Budget Adjustment Bill, a milestone for progress in the legislative session. The governor noted that this is the earliest date any governor had signed this legislation in at least a decade, and complimented the leadership in the House and the Senate for moving swiftly to affordably address the needs of Vermonters.‘We arrived at the State House in January aware of the difficult spending decisions facing Vermont,’ Gov. Shumlin said. ‘My administration and the House and Senate worked overtime to ensure this spending adjustment for the current year is affordable for taxpayers, yet meets our most pressing needs.’The bill for the current fiscal year includes:· Approximately $19 million from the federal Jobs Bill to help schools meet budget constraints;· $500,000 to combat homelessness in Vermont — $300,000 in grants directly to shelters, and $200,000 in General Assistance to help renters avoid eviction due to late payment, and assist with housing deposits to move homeless Vermonters into housing;· $700,000 to provide assistance to Vermonters with traumatic brain injuries through the Department of Disabilities, Aging and Independent Living; and· $280,000 to the Department for Children and Families to provide living assistance to the aged, blind and disabled.The Budget Adjustment Bill is an annual act that makes a mid-course correction to this year’s spending plan based on changes in the challenges facing Vermont since lawmakers approved a current-year budget the previous spring. In all, this bill proposes a relatively small spending increase of about $6 million in total spending for the year. The bill also includes some spending reductions created by caseload changes or other program shifts.‘We have challenging decisions to make in this building moving forward,’ Gov. Shumlin said. ‘It is imperative that ‘ just as we did in passing the Budget Adjustment Bill ‘ we work cooperatively to balance the needs of Vermonters with their ability to pay for those services.’ Source: MONTPELIER ‘ 2.17.2011