Commercial and agricultural development projects totaling $38.5 million throughout the state will receive more than $17 million in financing assistance from the Vermont Economic Development Authority (VEDA). Included in this round of approvals is more than $2 million in low-interest agricultural stimulus financing to Vermont farmers seeking immediate assistance. The Authority is making investments in projects that will add jobs in almost all sectors of Vermont s economy, said Jo Bradley, VEDA s Chief Executive Officer. As announced by Governor James Douglas and approved by the Vermont General Assembly last month, this special low-interest agricultural stimulus financing is part of up to $6 million VEDA has available for a limited time to help eligible farmers, said Bradley. The Authority was able to buy down interest rates with $1 million in federal economic stimulus funds from Vermont s share of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, and make these special loans through our agricultural financing program, the Vermont Agricultural Credit Corporation.Projects approved for VEDA financing are:John and Karel Underwood, Montpelier Approval of $800,000 in financing will help John and Karel Underwood purchase the Inn at Montpelier. The Inn property consists of a 19-room bed and breakfast, 10-unit apartment building, and two detached garages located on 1.2 acres in downtown Montpelier. The Underwoods, previous owners and operators of several restaurants in Cleveland, Ohio, plan to develop the function and group business side of the Inn s business. Employment at the Inn currently numbers 3.5 positions, and is expected to grow to 8 positions within three years of the $3 million project.Thetford Academy, Thetford Final approval was given for issuance of $6 million in tax-exempt industrial revenue bond financing to support a $10.8 million construction,renovation and refinance project at Thetford Academy. The project had received approval by VEDA in May, 2008, but due to subsequent changes in project scope that necessitated additional permit review, closing was delayed until this spring. Mascoma Savings and Laconia Savings Banks have agreed to participate in the project financing, which will add a new gymnasium and make major renovations of the current gym into a theater and cafeteria. The Academy s science and agriculture building also will be significantly renovated and updated. Established in 1819, Thetford Academy is Vermont s oldest continuously operating secondary school, serving students from Thetford and surrounding towns.Preci-Manufacturing, Inc., Winooski – Financing of $640,000 was approved for Preci-Manufacturing, Inc. (PMI) as part of a $1.7 million project to expand the company s manufacturing operations through construction of a 19,000 square foot addition. Located in the Highland Industrial Park in Winooski, PMI manufactures precision-machined metal components for use primarily in the defense and aerospace industries. PMI employs 103 persons, a number expected to grow to 115 within three years of the project.Durasol Awnings, Inc., Middlebury Financing of $794,000 was approved to assist Durasol Awnings, Inc. in their plans to purchase the 54,000 square foot commercial building on 18 acres where they currently lease space in Middlebury. The purchase and leasehold improvement renovations to the Geiger building on Pond Lane will help improve Durasol s efficiency in manufacturing and distribution. The Middlebury National Bank of Middlebury is also participating in the project. Durasol s Middlebury, Vermont facility, originally begun in 1976 as Otter Creek Awnings, employs 21 persons, and manufactures commercial awning products, distributing them to commercial contractors around the United States and Canada.Vermont Center for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, Inc., Brattleboro – Preliminary approval was given for issuance of $2,853,000 in tax-exempt industrial revenue bond financing the Vermont Center for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, Inc. to help the school make extensive energy conservation upgrades at the Brattleboro campus, and refinance existing debt from prior renovations. Originally established in 1904 as the Austine School, the Vermont Center for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, Inc. now provides comprehensive educational and support services through several programs to deaf and hard of hearing children, adults, and families throughout Vermont and surrounding states. The school s campus consists of multiple school and dormitory buildings on approximately 174 acres of land. The school employs 201 persons, a number expected to grow to 229 within three years of the project, should final approval for project financing be secured.SBE, Inc., Barre VEDA direct financing of $1.3 million to SBE, Inc. of Barre was approved contingent on award of an $8 million Department of Energy (DOE) matching grant for which SBE, Inc. has applied. The DOE grant is associated with the Economic Recovery Act for its Electric Drive Vehicle Battery and Component Manufacturing Initiative. SBE, Inc. is a designer and manufacturer of film/foil and metalized capacitors for DC and AC applications. SBE s traditional line of capacitors, which store electricity or electrical energy, are used in virtually every electronic and electrical device made, including cellular phones, televisions, power supply and power generation units, household appliances and industrial machinery. SBE, Inc. currently employs 43 persons, a number that could grow to 176 if the DOE grant is awarded. If the grant is awarded, SBE would undertake a significant $12.3 million manufacturing expansion, involving the construction and equipping of a new 50,000 square foot facility to be located in Wilson Industrial Park in Barre.The Authority also approved:An additional $433,000 in Direct Loans to several Vermont businesses and manufacturers;A total of $3.6 million in farm ownership and operating loans through the Vermont Agricultural Credit Corporation;$343,500 for several small business development projects through the Vermont Small Business Loan Program;$197,385 through the Vermont Business Energy Conservation Loan Program to help small businesses make energy efficiency and conservation improvements; and$159,450 to finance the construction of water systems through the Drinking Water State Revolving Loan Fund.VEDA s mission is to promote economic prosperity in Vermont by providing financial assistance to eligible businesses, including manufacturing, agricultural, and travel and tourism enterprises. Since its inception in 1974, VEDA has made financing commitments totaling over $1.4 billion. For more information about VEDA, visit www.veda.org(link is external) or call 802-828-5627.
23 Views no discussions Sharing is caring! NewsRegional Britain’s APD response ‘a slap in the face’ for Caribbean by: – December 7, 2011 Share St Kitts and Nevis Minister of Tourism and International Transportation Ricky Skerritt making a statement in the St Kitts and Nevis National assembly on Tuesday afternoon. (Photo by Erasmus Williams)BASSETERRE, St Kitts — The British government’s announcement on Tuesday that it will continue to discriminate against the Caribbean in relation to the banding aspect of the Air Passenger Duty (APD) system, has been described as “a slap in the face for all Caribbean people.”In a 26-page document published on Tuesday, the British government said that APD rates to Caribbean destinations will continue to be considerably higher than those to some competitor destinations. Furthermore, the fact that premium economy passengers will continue to be charged the same APD as first class passengers is a blow for those customers wanting to upgradeOver a period of three years, the Caribbean and its community in the UK have consistently sought to raise the issue of APD at all levels of the British government and with the UK parliament. St Kitts and Nevis Minister of Tourism Ricky Skerritt, chairman of the Caribbean Tourism Organisation (CTO) said: “Today’s announcement on the APD is a slap in the face for all Caribbean people. It dismisses all of the research and information CTO has provided to the British government over the past three years, and it contradicts the message sent by the UK Chancellor, George Osborne MP, in March 2011 when he cited the discrepancy between the USA and Caribbean APD rates as one of the reasons for holding a consultation on reform of UK APD. The Caribbean is the most tourism-dependent region of the world and the British government’s decision totally ignores the negative effect that APD is having on our economies and the Caribbean’s business partners in the UK travel industry.”“It is a slap in the face of Caribbean people because at no point in recent months has the Caribbean being led to believe that its concerns would not be addressed. As recently as the second week in November I sat face to face with a senior Minister in the United Kingdom Treasury who reassured me that the British government was sensitive to our concerns and would be announcing shortly a decision that would have addressed the issue of parity,” Skerritt continued.“I say it is a slap in the face because the UK government’s announcement in effect says it will continue to discriminate against the Caribbean. It says that APD rates to the Caribbean will be continue to be considerably higher than some competitor destinations,” he said.“It is slap in the face because the Caribbean is the most tourism dependent region in the world and the British government decision totally ignores the negative effect that it is having on our economy,” Skerritt added.Caribbean prime ministers, ministers of tourism, the Caribbean Tourism Organization, the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association and the Caribbean Diaspora in the UK, including the High Commissioners, have consistently raised the issue of Air Passenger Duty with the UK government and UK Parliament and the region’s concern about the negative effect that APD is having on the tourism dependent economies of the Caribbean and on the Caribbean community living in the United Kingdom.The region made a formal response to the Air Passenger Duty consultation in June. In summary this made clear that: • The Caribbean requires parity in banding with the US.• A move to a two band system would address the Caribbean’s requirement if this resulted in equal treatment of all long haul destinations. • No other option set out in the consultation addresses the concerns of the Caribbean.• APD has become a political issue with the Caribbean Diaspora in the UK. Skerrit said it is a matter that Caribbean governments would have to raise in the near future with the United Kingdom and hoped the issue would again be raised at the upcoming United Kingdom-Caribbean Forum in mid-January 2012 in Grenada.He said it is a time for the Caribbean to speak out and let the British Government know that we are not happy.“It is a time for Caribbean leaders at all levels to understand that this is about a serious economic matter and this matter will not go away just by wishing it away,” said Skerritt.By Caribbean News Now contributor Share Share Tweet
A former parole officer is facing multiple felony charges including rape.The Indiana Department of Corrections launched an investigation after receiving information on 42-year-old Michael Sproessig, who was employed as a parole officer.According to the Dearborn-Ohio County Prosecutor’s Office, the investigation uncovered that Sproessig allegedly forced a parolee into non-consensual sex.“It is clear from the facts of this case that Mr. Sproessig used his position as a parole officer to sexually assault a parolee who he was responsible for supervising,” Dearborn-Ohio County Prosecutor Aaron Negangard said.Sproessig’s employment with the Indiana Department of Corrections was terminated as a result of the investigation.The Dearborn-Ohio County Prosecutor’s Office was contacted by the Department of Corrections to determine if criminal charges were necessary.“The facts of this case were such that we felt criminal charges were appropriate,” Negangard said.A warrant was issued Thursday and Sproessig was apprehended Friday morning.The prosecutor’s office believes Sproessig forced the victim to engage in sexual intercourse with him while he was armed with a deadly weapon.Sproessig is charged with Rape with a Deadly Weapon, a class A Felony; Sexual Battery with a Deadly Weapon, a class C Felony; Intimidation with a Deadly Weapon, a class C Felony and Official Misconduct, a class D Felony.If convicted, a class A felony is punishable by a jail sentence of twenty to fifty years.