-30- The Vermont Economic Development Authority (VEDA) has approved $36.4 million in economic development financing assistance for a variety of large and small business projects. The financing support will leverage additional private investment, generating a total of $104.6 million in economic activity throughout Vermont.“VEDA is pleased to offer loan and other financing support to a number of commercial, renewable energy, small business, educational and agricultural initiatives,” said Jo Bradley, VEDA’s Chief Executive Officer. “These projects will bring jobs to Vermonters, and help stimulate Vermont’s economy.”Utilizing American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) federal stimulus funds, VEDA approved the following Recovery Zone Facility Bond issuance:· Green Mountain Power, Colchester – Green Mountain Power received final approval for $25 million in Recovery Zone Facility Bond (RZF) financing support from VEDA. The special facility bonds, which received preliminary approval from VEDA in January, utilize federal tax exemptions provided through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. Green Mountain Power also received final Authority approval for an additional $5 million in taxable bonds to support expenditures planned for the following year. Green Mountain Power plans over the next two years to undertake numerous large capital projects throughout Chittenden, Addison, Caledonia, Washington, Windham, and Windsor counties. Projects include substation upgrades, renewable energy deployment, hydro-dam refurbishing, and reliability and transmission projects. Total project costs are anticipated to be $31.7 million in 2010, and an additional $46.6 million in capital expenditures in 2011. Green Mountain Power serves 122 Vermont communities across nine counties in the state. The electric utility employs 191 persons, a number expected to grow modestly within three years, due in part to these projects.Other bond financing approved by VEDA:· Vermont Center for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, Inc., Brattleboro – Final approval was given for issuance of $3 million in tax-exempt industrial revenue bond financing to support the Vermont Center for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing’s extensive energy conservation upgrades at the Brattleboro campus, and their refinance of 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.Among the projects approved by VEDA to receive direct loan assistance:· Vermont Biomass Energy Company, Island Pond – Financing of $1.3 million was approved to the Vermont Biomass Energy Company to support the planned construction and operation of a wood pellet manufacturing facility in Island Pond. The $18.8 million project will convert the 80,000 square foot former Ethan Allen furniture manufacturing facility in Island Pond into a production plant. Community National Bank has approved a $10 million loan for the project, to be secured by a USDA Rural Development guarantee. In addition, the Township of Brighton will be submitting an application for $1 million in Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funding for the project. Employment projections at the new manufacturing plant over three years are 34 jobs, with estimates that another 120 indirect jobs may be created as a result of the project.· Sugarsnap, Burlington – Financing of $75,000 was approved to support the expansion plans of Sugarsnap, a small fresh food farm and retail operation located on Riverside Avenue in Burlington. Opportunities Credit Union is also participating in the project, which will enable Sugarsnap to develop and outfit a production kitchen and office to serve additional retail locations planned within the next several years. Sugarsnap employs 7 persons, a number expected to grow to 21 within three years of the project.· Flex-A-Seal, Essex Junction – VEDA approved a $51,176 loan as part of a $127,939 machinery and equipment acquisition project at Flex-A-Seal, Inc. The project will enable the company to grow their operations as producers and assemblers of different types of mechanical sealing products. Flex-A-Seal employs 54, a number expected to increase to 63 jobs within three years of the project.Through the Authority’s new Technology Loan Program, designed to assist smaller technology-related firms, VEDA approved $31,500 to Computer Care in Colchester to help the business expand their market area, purchase equipment, and hire additional employees.In addition, VEDA approved:· $1.2 million in financing to Vermont farmers through the Authority’s agricultural loan program, the Vermont Agricultural Credit Corporation (VACC); and· $719,396 to support small business development projects through the Vermont Small Business Loan Program.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 $1.5 billion. For more information about VEDA, visit www.veda.org(link is external) or call 802-828-5627.Source: VEDA. 3.9.2010
Press Association “For legal reasons I cannot comment on the detail,” Tan said. “But I’m pleased that finally we have a closure on this matter and suffice to say he is dropping all litigation, all claims against us. “I’m pleased with the result and I’m also pleased that he has publicly apologised. I said before, one day some people will apologise to me for what they have done. “Some people made me out like the villain. I’m supposed to be the Bond villain, but actually I’m James Bond.” Tan has now said that should the club bounce back to the top flight, he might be prepared to concede on the club’s colours, having believed a change to red would make the club more marketable overseas, especially in Asia. “I would like to focus on getting back to the Premier League and after we are there I will definitely agree to sit down and find a solution – maybe we can have a compromise,” he told the BBC. “I am not a quitter. I will stay until we get ourselves up and then we will see whether we can work out this colour change and compromise. If we can, maybe I will stay for a long time.” He added: “Let us get back to the Premier League first and after we are there I assure fans, the Supporters’ Trust and all of them, that I will sit down with them and we will find a solution that I hope will be satisfactory for all – for them and for me also. “We would like to work closely with the fans. We will try to engage and meet as often as we can. “Our chairman (Mehmet Dalman) will have constant dialogue and whenever I can I will join them.” Tan has also rejected his image as a ‘villain’ after reaching a settlement over the sacking of Mackay. The Scot and his former head of recruitment Iain Moody both released statements on Friday announcing that they had reached settlements with Cardiff and also issued apologies for any offence they may have caused to Tan. The Malaysian businessman was behind the controversial decision to dispense with tradition and change the Bluebirds’ home kit to red, but appears now to be prepared to at least think about reverting back. Cardiff were relegated last weekend after a turbulent first season in the Premier League, with manager Malky Mackay dismissed in December and his successor Ole Gunnar Solskjaer unable to keep them up. Cardiff owner Vincent Tan says he will consider changing the club’s colours back from red to blue – if they can win promotion back to the Barclays Premier League.