The Lake Champlain Basin Program has awarded 68 grants totaling $662,471 to communities and organizations in Vermont and New York that are implementing projects to improve the future of the Lake Champlain watershed. The grants support projects in four categories: Pollution Prevention and Habitat, Aquatic Invasive Species Spread Prevention, Education and Outreach, and Organizational Support.
City Market in Burlington congratulated their 2014 Co-op Patronage Seedling Grant recipients and offered almost $60,000 in grant funding to local food projects at a recent Grant Celebration that also launched the 2015 Co-op Patronage Seedling Grant process. City Market sent over $968,000 in Patronage Refunds to more than 10,000 Members in November 2014. As part of the Patronage Refund process, the Co-op offers Members the opportunity to donate their checks to strengthen Vermont’s food system.
The Lake Champlain Committee recently received a grant from the Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Ecosystem Restoration Program to provide design modifications for a stormwater pond in the Crosby Farms neighborhood of Vergennes. The pond has been identified as needing remediation by a stormwater mapping project conducted by Vermont DEC and in the City of Vergennes Municipal Plan. The existing pond receives stormwater runoff from the area around Bowman Road, Green Meadow Acres, and Booska Court, and can provide improved water quality treatment with some redesign.
Vermont Gas Systems, based in South Burlington, has announced that its customers save almost $14 million a year by participating in the company’s award-winning energy efficiency programs, up nearly $1 million in 2014 alone. Almost 2,100 customers were added to the company’s efficiency program in 2014. In the two counties now served by Vermont Gas – Chittenden and Franklin – these customers will both save money and avoid climate-changing carbon emissions equivalent to the emissions from more than 1,000 cars.
The Vermont Housing & Conservation Board has committed $2.06 million in VHCB funds and $2,007,000 in federal HOME Program funds for the development of 85 new homes in Brattleboro and Milton and to preserve affordability and rehabilitate 151 homes in Colchester, Brattleboro, Randolph and Bennington.
Senior executives at National Life Group challenged their peers at other companies in the region to follow their lead and volunteer at area nonprofits. National Life’s top executives will spend the morning on Friday volunteering at the Vermont Foodbank to demonstrate their commitment to the company’s corporate values and to the goals of the Foodbank.
They expect to be packing and sorting food that will be distributed to senior centers, local food shelves or other hunger-relief agencies.
by Deb Markowitz, Secretary, Vermont Agency of Natural Resources As I’ve been traveling around the State talking with Vermonters about the new Universal Recycling Law, I have met many impressive individuals on the front lines of implementation. Trevor Mance, founder of TAM Waste Management, is one example. Trevor got his start in the solid waste business when he was a student at Mount Anthony High School working at the Shaftsbury landfill on weekends. Pretty soon he had bought himself an old one-ton truck and was hauling waste for customers in and around Bennington.
WCAX is honored to accept the 2015 Governor’s SMART Award presented by the Vermont Travel Industry Conference. WCAX accepted the award Tuesday, March 31, at the Sheraton Hotel in South Burlington. The annual award is given to a company that finds creative ways of using social media.
The Vermont House gave preliminary approval today to H361 (88-55), legislation to reduce school spending, improve educational quality, and help control rising property taxes. The central piece of the legislation would force school district consolidation of districts with fewer than 1,100 students by 2018. This by itself would not close small schools, but the reorganized school boards and local townspeople could take that next step. There has been widespread recognition that school spending, and thus property taxes, is too high in Vermont.
Today, the Vermont Senate passed S29, which allows all eligible Vermonters the opportunity to register to vote up until as well as on Election Day. The current law has a registration deadline of the Wednesday before the election. Vermont Secretary of State Jim Condos released the following response: "I am extremely grateful to the Senate for taking up and passing Election Day Voter Registration with overwhelming support. The Senate’s endorsement, shown by the floor vote, indicates that they appreciate that this is truly a voter rights issue.
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Vermont (BCBSVT) achieved the highest possible ranking in four important service measures in 2014, retaining its distinction as the number one BCBS plan in America in overall service to its members, BCBSVT President and CEO Don George announced today. BCBSVT, an independent Vermont company, also achieved the number one ranking among the nation’s BCBS plans – which generally are known for service excellence -- in 2013.
LaunchVT, Vermont’s statewide business pitch competition announced its 2015 contestants and the addition of a new second place cash prize. Six contestants were chosen to participate in the competition which concludes with a pitch session on May 7. A new second place cash prize has been added to the competition this year. The competition will now award a first place company $30,000 in cash and more than $45,000 of in-kind support with a new second place prize awarding $15,000 in cash and $25,000 worth of in-kind support.