Month: January 2021

Hackett , Future Planning Associates merge

first_imgHackett & Company and Future Planning Associates, Inc. MergeWilliston, VT – on November 1, 2004, South Burlington-based Hackett &Company’s retirement plan and administrative group will merge with FuturePlanning Associates, Inc. of Williston, bringing together two of Vermont’sleading retirement consulting and administration firms with over 60 yearsof combined service.The merged company, with a combined staff of 20 “qualified plan”specialists, will operate as Future Planning Associates, Inc. under theleadership of Suzanne Stewart as chairman and Luther F. Hackett as ViceChairman. The other directors of the merged company include Jan Emmons,Marilyn Jae Lehto and Loretta Wood of Future Planning Associates and PattyBarry, Erin Helmken and Daryl Straw from Hackett & Company.”We believe that by combining our two companies we will be able to providethe full array of retirement and benefit planning services andadministration that are required in this increasingly complex field,” saidHackett. “As retirement planning takes on even greater complexity, aswell as importance to individuals and employers, our goal is to providesound advice and practical solutions that meet their needs,” he added.”Outstanding client service is our primary objective,” said Stewart in anoutline of the goals of the merged company. “In the same way that wecreate plans for our clients that are both long-term and future-oriented,this merger will ensure that Future Planning Associates will continue toprovide strength and continuity for the long term. By bringing together abroad array of individual expertise in talented staff and state-of-the-artdata systems, we will provide superior service to all of our clients,”added Stewart.With the November 1st merger, the company will operate in expandedquarters at the current site of Future Planning Associates, Inc. at 600Blair Park (P.O. Box 905) in Williston.Future Planning Associates, Inc. is a regional consulting firmspecializing in the design, implementation and administration oftax-qualified Retirement Plans, Section 125/Cafeteria Plans, HealthReimbursement Arrangements and COBRA requirements.- 30 –last_img read more

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Exchanges that will be 100 percent covered by FairPoint by 2010

first_imgCountyExchange NameTelephone Number Prefixes Milton893 Underhill899EssexIsland Pond723 Enosburg Falls933 Waterbury241, 244OrangeNewbury866 Essex Junction288, 878, 879 Vergennes877BenningtonDorset867 Vermont 100 PercentBroadband Exchanges in 2010 Fairfax849 Salisbury352 Williamstown433 Washington883 Lunenburg892ChittendenBurlington338, 651, 652, 654, 655, 657, 658, 660, 859, 860, 862, 863, 864, 865, 951, 985 AddisonMiddlebury382, 388, 443 Richford848 Manchester362, 366CaledoniaConcord695 St Albans524, 527 v\:* {behavior:url(#default#VML);}o\:* {behavior:url(#default#VML);}w\:* {behavior:url(#default#VML);}.shape {behavior:url(#default#VML);}Vermont 100 Percent Broadband Exchanges in 2010 v364051 Timothy McQuiston 2 23 2008-09-23T21:43:00Z 2008-09-30T21:07:00Z 2008-09-30T21:07:00Z 1 204 1168 Verizon 9 2 1370 10.2625 MicrosoftInternetExplorer4st1\:*{behavior:url(#ieooui) } /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:”Table Normal”; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-parent:””; mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt; mso-para-margin:0in; mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:10.0pt; font-family:”Times New Roman”;} Swanton868Grand IsleGrand Isle372LamoilleStowe253 Norton822FranklinEast Fairfield827 Morrisville888last_img read more

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Remarks of Senator Patrick Leahy at the Economic Recovery Conference at Champlain College

first_imgThank you, President Finney and Champlain College, for hosting us at this timely conference today.  We welcome this opportunity to offer Vermonters, Vermont businesses, and Vermont communities a chance to learn more about how they can take advantage of the recently passed federal economic recovery act.  And the more rapidly and effectively that Vermont puts these resources to work, the better we will be able to keep Vermonters working today, and the better we will be able to lay the groundwork for growing our economy for the jobs of tomorrow.   I d like to thank the Vermont Procurement and Technical Assistance Center and the Vermont Small Business Development Center for sponsoring and helping to organize this event.  For those of you who don t know about the great work these organizations do and the many other organizations represented at this conference today I really encourage you to take advantage of their superb knowledge and expertise about doing business in Vermont.  I also want to thank Governor Douglas, Legislative leaders, and so many Federal and State officials for being here today.  The Congressional Delegation worked closely with the Governor and the Legislature under the leadership of Senator Peter Shumlin and Speaker Shap Smith and with State agencies to make sure that the economic recovery plan is a good match for Vermont s job needs today and in the future. Vermonters are hurting today because of the economic and financial crises gripping the world.  We have a rising unemployment rate.  The State s budget, local municipal budgets and local school budgets are all stretched to the breaking point.  Our roads and bridges are strained and worn.  And hard-working families are struggling to put food on the table.  This really is one of the worst economic messes our country has seen since the Great Depression. As President Obama so clearly told the nation last week before a joint meeting of the Congress, rebuilding the foundation of a strong economy won t be easy.  It will take sacrifice, and it will take wise, concerted and sometimes courageous action.  And this economic recovery package is just one part of the solution.  We still have to stabilize our financial markets, our housing market, and consumer confidence in our overall economy.Some want these efforts to fail.  Worse yet, some pundits and even some politicians seem determined to try to make these efforts fail.  We cannot afford that kind of corrosive negativism in the best of times.  And when it comes to setting right an economy that has been going off keel for many years, this is anything but the best of times.  As for this Vermonter — and I think as for many, many Vermonters — I want this President and this country to succeed.  Some of the tools we need for economic recovery are in this legislative package, and the workshops where these tools will be put to work are right here in Vermont and in other states.  If Vermont gets a little head start on other states — that s OK by me.  This conference, which we re told is the first statewide conference of its kind, can help us jump off the starting block.   And I must say that the interest you have shown in being here is a sign that Vermonters are ready to lead the way back to economic vitality.  The economic recovery package is bold action taken by the Federal government to help put Americans back to work and we must be prepared to quickly and constructively take advantage of it. The package includes tax relief for working families and for businesses.  There are investments for broadband deployment, for job training, for electrical smart grids, for water and transportation infrastructure, for better schools, for housing, for first responders, for new energy sources, and for a whole host of other items that will help cushion pressures on the State budget, and for helping to lay the groundwork for a renewed and vibrant Vermont economy.In all, we expect Vermont will receive more than $700 million in direct federal funding under this economic recovery package, with hundreds of millions more coming to the State through competitive grant programs and tax reductions for individuals and businesses.President Obama has ordered Federal agencies to detail all of their economic recovery plans on the www.Recovery.gov(link is external) Website a site that I suggest you all bookmark on your computers.  According to the site, most of the Federal funding won t be released to states or noticed for competitive bidding until May.  But all of Washington has been impressed by the quick and competent way that formula grant funds already are flowing to the states, including millions of dollars to Vermont. Nevertheless, we hope that today s sessions will give you a sense of the breadth of opportunities available in the economic recovery package, will help you get a sense of how these resources will be directed, and will get you started thinking about ways your business, your organization, your municipality, or you yourself can take advantage of these opportunities.I ll caution you now — we probably won t have answers to all of your questions today.  As this bill goes into implementation it s impossible to know the details of everything.  My staff, the governor s staff, and our workshop panelists will do their best with the information they have available.  Most Federal and State agencies are still working on their rules and distribution plans right now, so please feel free to follow up with any of us in the weeks and months ahead. Again, thank you all for coming.  We appreciate you taking time out of your busy schedules to be here today.  I hope you ll find this a worthwhile conference because the economic recovery package really is a unique opportunity to save and create jobs and to make life better here in Vermont. Thank you.last_img read more

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EPA sends $2 million in brownfield clean-up funds to Vermont

first_imgVermont s congressional delegation announced today $2 million in Brownfields grants for the state.  Senators Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Congressman Peter Welch (D-Vt.) said the Environmental Protection Agency funding, $400,000 of which came from the economic stimulus plan, will go towards clean up of and reinvestment in properties blighted by hazardous waste. The City of Burlington will receive a $200,000 grant; the City of St. Albans will receive $400,000 in cleanup funds, and the New England Youth Theatre in Brattleboro will receive a $200,000 cleanup grant.There are also four regional recipients. The Windham Regional Commission will receive $400,000. The Lamoille County Planning Commission will receive $400,000. The Northwest Regional Planning Commission will receive $200,000. And the Rutland Regional Planning Commission will receive $200,000.The EPA defines a brownfield site as a location where the presence of a hazardous substance may complicate the expansion, redevelopment, or reuse of the property. Cleaning up polluted site takes development pressures off of undeveloped open land.  It also improves and protects the environment.Details of the Vermont grants are available here.  To learn more about the Brownfields program, visit the E.P.A. Web site here.last_img read more

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Legislation would bolster successful SBA loan program

first_imgRep. Peter Welch unveiled legislation Monday morning aimed at freeing up credit to small businesses by expanding a successful Small Business Administration loan program. At Burlington s Chittenden Bank, Welch and members of Vermont s business and banking communities outlined details of Welch s bill, which is intended to bolster the popular SBA Express Loan Program. By increasing the SBA Express program s current cap of $350,000 to $2 million, the legislation would significantly increase access to credit for Vermont s small businesses. Welch will introduce his bill in the House this week.Small business owners throughout Vermont have struggled since the start of the current economic crisis with securing and retaining lines of credit. At a small business roundtable in Bennington last month, business owners told Welch that the tight credit environment was the single greatest difficulty they faced in expanding their businesses. Vermont small businesses need access to credit in order to weather this economic storm and right now, they don t have that, Welch said. By expanding the highly successful SBA Express Loan Program, I believe we can give our small businesses a key tool to survive these difficult economic times.Established in 1995 to increase the effectiveness and efficiency of SBA s lending programs, SBA Express reduces the amount of required paperwork and accelerates the approval process for small businesses. Because it significantly reduces costs for lending institutions, SBA Express has thrived during the economic crisis, even as other lending programs have not. The program s current loan cap of $350,000, however, has constrained the potential of SBA Express, experts agree.Bennington Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Joanne Erenhouse and Chittenden Bank SBA Loan Officer Robin Shanahan joined Welch at Monday s event to reiterate the importance for both small businesses and lenders of expanding SBA Express. Franklin County Regional Development Corporation Executive Director Tim Smith and Rutland Economic Development Corporation Executive Director Jamie Stewart also attended the event.Source: Welch’s office.last_img read more

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United States Senate passes Travel Promotion Act

first_imgThe United States Senate passed the Travel Promotion Act (TPA) late last week by a vote of 78-18. The House already passed the bill which is now on its way to President Obama who is expected to sign the bill into law sometime this week.   This is a major accomplishment for the hospitality industry, said Vicky Tebbetts, Vice President of the Vermont Chamber s Hospitality Council. This legislation is important for the continued growth and success of the travel and tourism economy in Vermont and across the United States.    The TPA will aggressively promote international travel to the United States by creating a public-private partnership campaign to market the country as a premier travel destination with the goal of increasing the number of international visitors. The Vermont Chamber s Hospitality Council commends Senators Patrick Leahy, Bernie Sanders and Congressman Peter Welch for supporting the Travel Promotion Act and recognizing the important role the tourism industry plays in Vermont, Tebbetts added.The Vermont Chamber s Hospitality Council would like to thank Congressman Welch for his efforts in getting this important piece of legislation passed. At the urging of the Vermont Chamber s Hospitality Council, Welch joined the Congressional Travel and Tourism Caucus last summer in order to represent Vermont s vibrant hospitality industry.  Welch is one of nearly 100 members in the Caucus which has worked on the Travel Promotion Acts of 2007 and 2009, promoting the brand of America to the rest of the traveling world and increasing international travelers to the United States.  In 2007, visitors made an estimated 14.3 million person trips to Vermont for leisure, business or personal travel and direct spending by visitors for goods and services totaled $1.6 billion. In addition, visitor spending entirely supports an estimated 37,490 jobs for Vermonters (approximately 12% of all jobs in our state).The TPA aims to create 40,000 new jobs in the United States to handle the 1.6 million new visitors to this country.  Travel represents 40 percent of fine dining restaurant sales in the United States, 25 percent of both family and casual dining segment sales, and 15 percent of quick service sales.  This industry also employs 13 million Americans.Source: Vermont Chamber of Commerce. 3.1.2010last_img read more

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Challenges for Change school budget reduction targets $23.2 million

first_imgThe Vermont Department of Education mailed FY2012 individualized education spending reduction targets Monday to each supervisory union, supervisory district, and the three technical center districts across the state, as required by Act 146 of the 2010 Legislative session. Overall the recommendations are for a 2.34 percent reduction across the state in education spending in order to meet the goal of saving $23.2 million dollars. District-level recommendations range from a 0.5 percent reduction to a 2.68 percent reduction.The determinations were made at the district levels, but aggregated to the supervisory union level as the law requires. The determinations considered factors outlined in the law, such as per pupil spending, student-to-staff ratios and demonstrated fiscal restraint. The department examined data from the past four budget cycles on· total education spending,· spending per equalized pupil,· student enrollment to direct instruction staff,· direct instruction staff to administrative staff,· and student enrollment to administrative staff. ‘We expect most school districts and supervisory unions to take these recommendations seriously,’ said Commissioner Vilaseca. ‘And they will do their best to meet them, just as they responsibly reduced spending last year. This is new territory, both for our department and for local school districts.’The boards of each supervisory union and district shall notify the commissioner on or before December 15, 2010 whether their combined budgets will meet the recommended reductions. By January 15, 2011, the commissioner shall report to the legislative education committees the total projected amount of FY2012 budgets, with a detailed proposal by which the Legislature can ensure the targets will be met.See Page 76, sections E1 and E2, for this specific requirement at http://www.leg.state.vt.us/DOCS/2010/ACTS/ACT146.PDF(link is external). A complete explanation of the formula begins on the following page.Challenges for Change School Budget Reduction Targets Calculations Brief overview of methodologyFor any given data element, the percent change between any two consecutive years was calculated (i.e., the percent change in netted education spending from FY2010 to FY2011). Percent changes were capped at plus or minus 50 percent to compensate for very large percentage changes resulting from small changes in very small districts. Additionally, some data were either clearly entered incorrectly or not entered at all, resulting in very large or low percentage changes.The four years of data resulted in three percentage changes. Those three changes were averaged for a district. Again, to accommodate small districts, the averages were capped at plus or minus one standard deviation from the mean. As supervisory unions are different from school districts and perform different functions, a separate mean and standard deviation was calculated and used for supervisory unions and supervisory districts. School districts and the three technical center school districts used a mean and a standard deviation based on their combined data.The resulting average (capped if necessary) was divided by the relevant group mean to normalize the data. This figure became the weight for any given factor. The exception was the factor for direct instruction FTEs per administration and support staff FTEs. That factor had a low mean for the school district and technical center (0.15%), resulting in disproportionately large weights for a modest average (e.g., with a mean of 0.15%, an average of 10% results in a weight of 67). Therefore, the DI per Admin & Support weight was decreased by a factor of 0.50 to mitigate the effect of the small mean.Weights from the various factors were aggregated. To account for the varying magnitudes of education spending (Burlington versus Eden, for example), the total weights for a district were multiplied by the ratio of the district’s netted education spending to the netted education spending as a whole.Some districts had a negative total weight, resulting in a negative factor after applying the relative netted education spending factor. Statistically, it is valid to add a constant to transform the negative values to positive. This was done by adding a constant of 1 to all weighted totals. This result was then multiplied against the ratio of the required $23,200,000 reduction versus the netted education spending total (2.348%), to give a weighted percentage for reduction.That weighted percentage was multiplied by the netted education spending for all districts, SUs, SDs, and technical center districts. The aggregated targets for the State exceeded the $23,200,000, so a reduction factor of the legislated target divided by the calculated target state total was applied to each district, bringing the targets to the $23,200,000 figure.Source: Vermont DOE. 8.4.2010http://education.vermont.gov/new/html/dept/press_releases.html(link is external)center_img OverviewSection E2 of Act 146 of the 2010 Legislative session specifies that FY2012 education spending will be reduced by $23,200,000 from the FY2011 level, while achieving the outcomes for education listed in section E1. The commissioner of education is directed to develop reduction targets for each supervisory union and technical center school district.These targets were developed by looking at the member districts of supervisory unions, the supervisory unions themselves, and the three technical center school districts. Additionally, supervisory costs for Supervisory Districts were removed from the school costs (e.g., supervisory costs for the Montpelier Supervisory District were removed from the Montpelier School District costs).Entities excludedSchool districts excluded from these targets were districts that:did not operate a school and tuitioned all grades;belonged to a union school and tuitioned all other grades;were members of two unions offering combined grades K ‘ 12;were members of joint school agreements as individuals but data were aggregated to the joint school level and were included; andunorganized towns and gores.Data elementsData used were the most recent available for the following elements and are as reported by the districts:education spending (FY08-FY11);equalized pupils as calculated with the maximum allowable 3.5% loss (FY08-FY11);enrollments (FY07-FY10); andteacher / staff data (FY07-FY10)direct instruction ‘ all licensed teachers in the classroom;administrative and support staff ‘ central office staff personnel for both school and general administration, including paid teachers aides.Education spending for school districts was decreased by supervisory union assessments, costs for grades tuitioned, capital debt, and costs for technical center students.Factors usedThe above data elements were used in the following six factors:netted education spending (after removal of aforementioned costs);netted education spending per equalized pupil;enrollment per direct instruction staff FTEs;enrollment per administration and support staff FTEs;direct instruction FTEs per administration and support staff FTEs; andnetted education spending as a percent of total netted education spending, applied to the aggregated weights from 10 – 14.last_img read more

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Vermont Senate committee assignments announced

first_imgLieutenant Governor Phil Scott, Senate President Pro Tempore John Campbell, and Senator Dick Mazza, members of the Senate Committee on Committees, announced the Senate committee assignments for the 2011-2012 legislative session.Those committee assignments are:AgricultureSen. Sara Kittell (D-Franklin), ChairSen. Harold Giard (D-Addison), Vice ChairSen. Philip Baruth (D-Chittenden), ClerkSen. Bobby Starr (D-Essex-Orleans)Sen. John Campbell (D-Windsor)AppropriationsSen. Jane Kitchel (D-Caledonia), ChairSen. Dick Sears (D-Bennington), Vice ChairSen. Bobby Starr (D-Essex-Orleans), ClerkSen. Diane Snelling (R-Chittenden)Sen. Vincent Illuzzi (R-Essex-Orleans)Sen. Alice Nitka (D-Windsor)Sen. Hinda Miller (D-Chittenden)Economic DevelopmentSen. Vincent Illuzzi (R-Essex-Orleans), ChairSen. Timothy Ashe (D/P-Chittenden), Vice ChairSen. Peter Galbraith (D-Windham), ClerkSen. Bill Carris (D-Rutland)Sen. Bill Doyle (R-Washington)EducationSen. Kevin Mullin (R-Rutland), ChairSen. Ginny Lyons (D-Chittenden), Vice ChairSen. Philip Baruth (D-Chittenden), ClerkSen. Bill Doyle (R-Washington)Sen. Sara Kittell (D-Franklin)FinanceSen. Ann Cummings (D-Washington), ChairSen. Mark MacDonald (D-Orange), Vice ChairSen. Sally Fox (D-Chittenden), ClerkSen. Dick McCormack (D-Windsor)Sen. Timothy Ashe (D/P-Chittenden)Sen. Rich Westman (R-Lamoille)Sen. Randy Brock (R-Franklin)Government OperationsSen. Jeanette White (D-Windham), ChairSen. Claire Ayer (D-Addison), Vice ChairSen. Peg Flory (R-Rutland), ClerkSen. Anthony Pollina (D-Washington)Sen. Peter Galbraith (D-Windham)HealthSen. Claire Ayer (D-Addison), ChairSen. Kevin Mullin (R-Rutland), Vice ChairSen. Anthony Pollina (D-Washington), ClerkSen. Hinda Miller (D-Chittenden)Sen. Sally Fox (D-Chittenden)InstitutionsSen. Bob Hartwell (D-Bennington), ChairSen. Dick Mazza (D-Grand Isle), Vice ChairSen. Joe Benning (R-Caledonia), ClerkSen. Bill Carris (D-Rutland)Sen. Harold Giard (D-Addison)JudiciarySen. Dick Sears (D-Bennington), ChairSen. Alice Nitka (D-Windsor), Vice ChairSen. Diane Snelling (R-Chittenden), ClerkSen. Jeanette White (D-Windham)Sen. Ann Cummings (D-Washington)Natural ResourcesSen. Ginny Lyons (D-Chittenden), ChairSen. Mark MacDonald (D-Orange), Vice ChairSen, Joe Benning (R-Caledonia), ClerkSen. Dick McCormack (D-Windsor)Sen. Randy Brock (R-Franklin)TransportationSen. Dick Mazza (D-Grand Isle), ChairSen. Jane Kitchel (D-Caledonia), Vice ChairSen. Peg Flory (R-Rutland), ClerkSen. Rich Westman (R-Lamoille)Sen. Bob Hartwell (D-Bennington)###last_img read more

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Construction contracts increase in both VT and NH

first_imgStatistics show that although construction in Vermont during the month of February looked to be slowing, overall contracts for future construction are above last years values. This includes residential, non-residential and nonbuilding construction. February and year-to-date data for Vermont:Similar statistics for the state of New Hampshire also show a significant increase in future construction contracts for the year 2011. February and year-to-date data for New Hampshire:Source: McGraw-Hill Constructionlast_img read more

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