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Vermont gets $6.8 million in Homeland Security preparedness grants

Fri, 07/25/2014 - 11:15am -- tim

Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vermont) Friday announced Vermont will receive $6.8 million in federal grants from the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS), up from $6.3 million last year. The grants – under a formula championed by Leahy that protects smaller states like Vermont – will help Vermont develop prevention and preparedness programs to respond to and recover from acts of terrorism and other catastrophic events.

Lawmakers OK $600,000 to hire staff to implement IT overhaul

Fri, 07/25/2014 - 11:10am -- tim

by Katie Jickling A legislative committee Thursday approved funding to hire 37 staff members to help implement a massive technological overhaul for the Agency of Health and Human Services. The Joint Fiscal Committee voted 7-2 to allocate up to $600,000 for 37 short-term employees who will help oversee the development of the Integrated Eligibility project, one part of the long-term Health and Human Services Enterprise technology project.

Governor announces $1.6 million in disaster recovery and brownfields Grants for Barre

Thu, 07/24/2014 - 2:31pm -- tim

Standing a block from Main Street in Barre, Governor Peter Shumlin today announced two grants that will allow the City of Barre to address flood risks, clean up environmental contamination and redevelop a central part of its downtown known as Enterprise Aly.  Long slated for improvements in Barre’s master plan, the area was flooded in the spring of 2011 when the Stevens Branch overflowed its banks during heavy storms.  Flood waters damaged the area -- the site of environmental contamination – and flowed into the back of Main Street businesses, threatening the spread of hazardous materials.

Milne takes aim at Shumlin’s policy, style and record

Thu, 07/24/2014 - 12:14pm -- tim

Scott Milne, the Vermont GOP-endorsed gubernatorial candidate, formally launched his campaign Wednesday in Barre with a one-two punch aimed at Governor Peter Shumlin. Milne promised not to vilify the governor’s character, and then promptly walked into a backhanded attack on Shumlin’s governing strategy. “Bullying tactics are not respected where I come from,” he said. “Leadership is defined by trust, not brazen displays of power.”

Shumlin proposes cutting current state spending nearly 2 percent as tax revenue slows

Thu, 07/24/2014 - 11:43am -- tim

by Timothy McQuiston Vermont Business Magazine Governor Peter Shumlin and Administration Secretary Jeb Spaulding said Thursday that Vermont continues to recover from the deepest recession since the Great Depression and that the current state budget will need to be cut $31 million in order make up for lagging tax revenues. In Fiscal Year 2013, Vermont’s General Fund receipts were up $91 million over the previous year. This past fiscal year saw continued growth, with receipts $46.6 million higher than 2013.

Opponents of wind development in southern Vermont make case in federal court

Thu, 07/24/2014 - 8:36am -- tim

by John Herrick The nation’s second-largest wind power operator wants to be the first to develop a utility-scale wind project on national forest land in the Green Mountain State. Spanish wind giant Iberdrola Renewables defended the project in federal court in Brattleboro Wednesday. Wind opponents have challenged the company’s special use permit to build a 30 megawatt project in the Green Mountain National Forest. Th

Essex solar farm changes hands

Thu, 07/24/2014 - 6:08am -- tim

PSEG Solar Source of New Jersey has announced that it will acquire the ERWR Whitcomb Farm Solar project in Essex from juwi solar (JSI). The facility, which will now be known as the PSEG Essex Solar Energy Center, has a 25-year power purchase agreement (PPA) with Vermont Electric Power Producers (VEEP), Inc, as part of the Vermont Sustainably Priced Energy Enterprise Development (SPEED) program. During JSI's ownership of the project, it advanced the development work previously performed by Encore Redevelopment, Walden Renewables and Whitcomb-Smith Solar.

Okemo launches Operation Snowburst Part 2

Thu, 07/24/2014 - 4:01am -- tim

Okemo Mountain Resort’s Operation Snowburst is returning for a second season of snowmaking improvements to include the addition of 100 new, energy-efficient tower guns. Operation Snowburst Part 2 brings Okemo’s mountain-wide total of HKD tower guns to 1,125. Okemo also utilizes several hundred snowmaking guns of varying types, but it is the HKD SV series of guns that will be making a big impression on skiers and riders visiting Ludlow's Okemo, and specifically the Solitude area, this winter.