Month: January 2021

Northern New England Planners Announce Annual Awards

first_imgThe Northern New England Chapter of the American Planning Association (NNECAPA) announced the recipients of their 2002 Awards Program at their annual meeting held recently in Providence, RI. The following northern New England planners and projects were recognized for their hard work and dedication to the field of land use planning and the communities of northern New England: “2002 Professional Planner of the Year” – Gregory Brown, Commissioner, VT Dept. of Housing & Community Affairs.Gregory Brown, was recognized for his many years of professional service as an educator at Landmark College, regional planner with the Windham Regional Commission, and Planning Director, and later Commissioner, of Housing and Community Affairs.“2002 Citizen Planner of the Year” – John Ewing, Board Chair, VT Forum on Sprawl, Burlington, VT.John Ewing was recognized for his leadership and commitment as a “Citizen Planner.” John has been a devoted advocate for planning and community betterment for more than 40 years. He has played an active role in making Vermont a better place to live and work in a number of professional and volunteer capacities. He had utilized his tremendous talents to eloquently articulate the importance of land use management as a practicing attorney, former member of the Burlington Planning Commission, appointee to the District 5 Environmental Commission and later the VT Environmental Board, and most recently as the founder and current Board Chair of the VT Forum on Sprawl. He has been an active volunteer in state, local and nonprofit organizations.“2002 Planning Project of the Year” – Town of Williston, VT for the “Williston Residential Growth Management Plan.”The “Williston Residential Growth Management Plan” prepared by the Town of Williston was recognized with the Planning Project Award. This project has been evolving over many years utilizing both regulatory and non-regulatory techniques. A comprehensive plan set forth the vision, while the zoning ordinance established the basic land use patterns. The Town maintains this pattern through a sewer allocation ordinance that established areas for future growth in the sewer service area. The rate of residential growth was addressed in the residential growth management process, while design concerns are considered through a design review process. Finally, the Town also has taken steps to protect its open spaces with an environmental conservation fund that is used to purchase development rights on key open spaces. This is a very ambitious and comprehensive approach with many elements frequently considered as “Smart Growth.”“2002 Plan of the Year” – City of Nashua, NH for the Nashua 2000 Master Plan.The City of Nashua, NH was recognized with the Plan of the Year Award. This outstanding plan provides a comprehensive vision for further growth and redevelopment in one of New Hampshire’s largest and fastest growing areas. A full color summary of the plan was printed in newspaper tabloid format and distributed to residents. The placement of the plan on the city’s website and the CD version has made the vision of the city accessible to all local residents and to those looking to relocate there.NNECAPA is one of 48 Chapters and 18 Divisions within the American Planning Association (APA), and serves APA members in Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont. The American Planning Association is a non-profit public interest and research organization representing 30,000 practicing planners, officials, and citizens involved with urban and rural planning issues across the country.last_img read more

John-Michael Girald joins The Bigelow Company

first_img“I am delighted to announce that John-Michael Girald has recently joined our firm,” said Peter R. Worrell, Managing Director of The Bigelow Company LLC. “Girald’s unique experience in having worked with both large corporate and entrepreneurial investment banking firms means that he will be able to bring a broad perspective of value-adding strategies to Bigelow’s clients. This meaningful addition to our professional staff further demonstrates Bigelow’s continuing commitment to bring the best industry talent to bear on our client opportunities.”Most recently, Girald was a Senior Analyst in the Philadelphia-based middle market investment banking practice of Legg Mason Wood Walker, Inc where in some ways similar to Bigelow, they specialize in assisting companies with acquisition and merger strategy and implementation. While at Legg Mason, Girald focused on client needs in all facets of corporate finance transactions, including initial public offerings, formulation of growth financing strategies, the private placement of debt and equity, and a strong emphasis on merger and acquisition transactions.Prior to his three years with Legg Mason, Girald earned his Bachelors degree in Finance from Villanova University, where he also minored in Management Information Systems. He is now a resident of Salem, MA.The Bigelow Company is best known for serving as private investment bankers to owner-managers of some of the most successful entrepreneurial companies in North America. Bigelow concentrates its resources exclusively on capturing sustainable enterprise value for its entrepreneurial clients.last_img read more

State designates Mack environmental partner

first_imgMack Group,Mack Molding’s Northern Operations, with three manufacturing facilities in Arlington and Cavendish, has been named an Environmental Partner by the state of Vermont. To be selected, a business must meet eight standards, all of which are geared toward waste management, pollution prevention and energy efficiency.In addition to participating in an environmental assessment by the Vermont Small Business Development Center, Mack has:â ¢ eliminated process water discharge at the East Arlington facilityâ ¢ significantly reduced electrical usage by replacing 2,100 lightingfixtures with high intensity fluorescent fixturesâ ¢ installed new high efficiency air compressors in two facilitiesâ ¢ reuses or recycles 920,000 lbs of plastic resin per yearâ ¢ recycles 98,500 lbs of sheet metal per yearâ ¢ recycles 45,000 lbs of cardboard per yearâ ¢ purchases cleaning/maintenance products with post consumer recycledcontentâ ¢ reduced fuel oil consumption at the Cavendish facility by 51% over theprevious year.In addition, Mack participates annually in a number of environmental training programs and other pollution prevention best management practices.The Vermont Business Environmental Partnership is a joint effort between the Department of Environmental Conservation and the Vermont Small Business Development Center. Vermont businesses selected for the Partnership use pollution prevention strategies and best practices to go beyond compliance with existing environmental regulations.About Mack MoldingMack Molding is a leading custom plastics molder and supplier of contract manufacturing services. Mack specializes in plastics design, prototyping, molding, sheet metal fabrication, and medical device manufacturing. Founded in 1920, Mack is a privately owned business that operates 10 facilities throughout the world. Don Kendall is president and CEO. For more information, go to www.mack.com(link is external).Source: ARLINGTON, Vt. (10/18/10) ‘ Mack Molding# # # # #last_img read more

Online businesses say tax bill will hurt sales

first_imgby Anne Galloway March 14, 2011 vtdigger.orgLast week, the House passed an Internet sales tax bill that, in theory, would force out-of-state Internet giants like Overstocks.com and Amazon.com to collect sales taxes on the products they sell to Vermonters.The two-page bill, H.143, passed on third reading Thursday, and on Friday morning the Senate sent the legislation to its Finance Committee. An identical piece of legislation, S.54, introduced by two unlikely comrades in arms ‘ conservative Sen. Richie Westman, R-Cambridge, and ultra-liberal Sen. Tim Ashe, D/P-Burlington, is also in play.Dig DeeperARTICLE NAVIGATIONAmazon fights sales taxes state by stateLaw would have ‘sizeable impactDOCUMENTSH.143S.54LINKSDon Mayer’s comment on VTD: Tax reform part 3: Why the ‘Amazon tax’ is a no-brainerAssociated Press: Online retailers dump Ill. partners over tax lawOpen Congress: H.R.5660 ‘ Main Street Fairness ActCenter for Budget and Policy PrioritiesProvidence Business News: ‘Amazon tax has not generated revenue.’Amazon.com sues N.Y. over new online sales taxPerformance Marketing AssociationThe Wall Street Journal: Amazon Takes Action in Illinois as War on Sales Taxes ContinuesThe Tolbert Report: Group Opposition Mounting Against ‘Internet Tax’Tax Foundation:’Amazon Tax’ Laws Signal Business Unfriendliness And Will Worsen Short-Term Budget ProblemsVIDEOYouTube: Treasurer Caprio Discusses Amazon Tax on FBNThe legislation, in other words, is on a trajectory toward enactment.On the face of it, the bill seems like the perfect, no-political-will-required piece of legislation: After all, it targets monolithic, out-of-state corporations. Plus, it could generate $30 million to $40 million in much-needed state revenue ‘ that is, if the Tax Department actually received sales taxes collected by these companies.Like consumers in most states, Vermont’s residents are supposed to voluntarily pay a 6 percent sales tax on online purchases when they file annual income tax forms with the state Tax Department. In practice, however, the honor system hasn’t been particularly effective.Meanwhile, brick-and-mortar stores are required to collect the tax on behalf of the state. Rep. Jeff Wilson, sponsor of H.143, says charging Internet retailers the same tax is a way of leveling the playing field.Don’t be surprised, though, if the Vermont legislation hits a roadblock once it’s taken up by the Senate Finance Committee. A rallying cry has already gone up: Local bloggers and in-state retailers affiliated with Internet sellers, large and small, would be hurt by the new provision, and they’re organizing a campaign to fight the proposal.If H.143 or S.54 becomes law the tax would go into effect in July 2012, but some Vermont Internet retailers and bloggers say Amazon.com and the other large companies they work with will pull out of the state immediately, and they would, as a result, either go out of business or lose a significant portion of their income.Hundreds of Vermont companies, including Small Dog Electronics and Outdoor Gear Exchange, business leaders say, are ‘affiliates’ of companies like Amazon.com, that is, they have mutually beneficial sales relationships with large online retailers or provide an advertising platform for Internet companies. They also profit from the competitive edge they have over brick-and-mortar stores in other states that must collect sales taxes.Don Mayer, CEO of Vermont-based Small Dog Electronics, objects to the legislation because he wants to maintain his competitive advantage over brick-and-mortar Apple computer stores in states around the country that must collect sales taxes. In a comment on VTDigger.org last month, Mayer wrote that 40 percent of the company’s $20 million in revenues come from online sales, and ‘implementation of the Internet sales tax would result in a significant decline in our out-of-state sales.’Aaron Ritchie, who runs a website from his home in Williston and gets a cut of the sale of Music123 products, says he would have to shut down his lucrative website or move out of state if the law goes through because Music123 would likely stop advertising in Vermont.Mike Donohue, co-owner of the Outdoor Gear Exchange, says he would lose a third to half of his online sales. The Exchange, which operates a popular store in Burlington, also runs a website called Gearx.com, which also sells products directly through Amazon.com.AMAZON FIGHTS SALES TAXES STATE BY STATEWould Amazon and other major online retailers really leave Vermont? If the way Seattle retailer and others have responded to other states that have tried to impose sales taxes is any indication, the answer is a definitive yes.When North Carolina and Rhode Island adopted similar legislation, Amazon dropped affiliates immediately. On Friday, just days after Illinois passed an Internet sales tax law, the Seattle-based retailer announced it would no longer do business with affiliates in that state as of April 15. Overstock said it would pull out on May 1.According to an Associated Press story, Sears Holdings Corp., Wal-mart Stores Inc. and Barnes & Noble Inc. want to pick up the affiliates on their websites.California is considering a similar Internet tax measure, and Amazon has warned that it will abandon associated businesses there as well. Other states considering legislation include: Kansas, Kentucky, North Dakota and Washington.As The Wall Street Journal put it, ‘Amazon’s battle with state governments over sales taxes is escalating.’When the Hawaii Legislature passed a bill in 2009, Amazon cut off its ties to affiliates immediately. Several days after the governor of the island state vetoed the legislation, the company re-established its relationship with associate businesses.Vermont’s legislation is patterned after the 2008 New York state law now being challenged by Amazon in the courts. Though the retail giant is collecting the tax for New York in the meantime, it is continuing to fight the state in court.The New York law shifts the understanding of physical presence. It says that if a third-party entity in New York state is engaged in sales on behalf of another business, that counts as a physical presence, too.In 1992, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that Internet retailers that don’t have a physical presence in a state ‘ employees or office or warehouse space ‘ don’t have to pay sales tax to states or municipal governments.Those third parties are known as ‘affiliate’ websites. Typically, the affiliates are online community newspapers or blogs that post ads for Amazon.com or Overstocks in exchange for a commission for every sale the online retailer makes. Any time you see an ad for, say, a Kindle on an independent website, an ‘affiliate’ vendor is attempting to make a little money in commission sales of that product.Online companies with a physical presence in Vermont already collect sales taxes for the state, as required under a 1992 Supreme Court ruling. Companies like Amazon, Overstock and others don’t maintain stores, warehouses or offices in Vermont, and so aren’t liable to collect the taxes. Those virtual companies would be, however, under the new Vermont legislation because they use affiliates based in Vermont to sell their products.Last month, Paul Misener, a policy analyst for Amazon, warned lawmakers that his company would also pull advertising and business relationships with Vermont businesses if the state passes an Internet sales tax law.About 1,000 Vermont affiliates generate $48 million in revenues and pay $3.4 million in sales taxes, according to the Performance Marketing Association, an industry trade group.LAW WOULD HAVE ‘SIZEABLE IMPACT’How worried are Vermont companies about the bill? They are trying to band together to raise money to hire Paul Tencher, former campaign manager for Deb Markowitz and chair of the Vermont Democratic Party’s coordinated campaign, to lobby on their behalf, according to Mayer of Small Dog Electronics.He says his company is an affiliate and sells some products on Amazon, but said he is mainly concerned about losing his competitive advantage and having to collect taxes for thousands of taxing districts should states, counties and municipalities across the country adopt bill’s like the one proposed in Vermont. If that happened, he said his company would lose 60 percent of its online sales.‘The advantage we have in selling outside the state is we do not have to pay sales tax,’ Mayer said. ‘When I sell a computer in New York City, a customer gets an 8 percent or 9 percent advantage.’Smaller outfits, websites like Aaron Ritchie’s UberProAudio.com, are part of an emerging advertising trend in which companies like Music123 and Amazon shell out a percentage of their sales revenues to bloggers that allow them to place advertisements on their websites.Ritchie says Amazon and other companies that use websites like his to promote their products will fire all Vermont affiliates if H-143 becomes law.Mike Donohue, co-owner of Outdoor Gear Exchange in Burlington, said he is ‘100 percent in favor of Internet sales being taxed at the same rate or a similar rate.’ His company collects Vermont sales tax for any orders shipped within Vermont ‘ he said it’s no different for a customer who walks into the store. Consumers from out of state aren’t required to pay sales tax online.In addition to selling backpacks, bug dope, hiking boots, climbing and camping gear and so on from its website, Gearx.com, the Outdoor Gear Exchange sells products on the Amazon website. The company pays a commission to the Seattle retailer.‘We view their fee like advertising online,’ Donohue said. He compared the Amazon placement with site engine optimization and adwords. ‘With Amazon, we don’t pay unless we have a sale.’If Amazon left the state, Donohue said it would ‘penalize our business.’Some consumers prefer the one-stop shopping experience on Amazon, he said, and placement on the site enables Gearx.com to reach out to customers it might not otherwise have access to.‘Of our online sales, it’s probably between a third and half,’ Donohue said. ‘It would be a sizeable impact.’Outdoor Gear Exchange would have to lay off workers at some point, he said, if the bill passes.‘It’s important to level the playing field (for brick and mortar stores),’ Donohue said, but he argues Internet sales taxes need to be addressed on the federal level.He points to a national Streamlined Sales and Use Tax Agreement, which was tabled in Congress last year when it was introduced under the Main Street Fairness Act, as a possible solution.‘We definitely support that â ¦ there’s no logical reason to walk into a store and pay sales tax (while) online you wouldn’t,’ Donohue said.Michael Mazerov, of the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities, said there is ‘no realistic prospect of Congress passing a Streamline Sales Tax Agreement in the near future.’On the other hand, if states ‘hang together,’ they can chip away at this problem, he said. In addition to New York, Rhode Island, North Carolina and Illinois, which have enacted laws that force Internet sales tax collection, Arizona, California, Hawaii, Mississippi and Connecticut are weighing legislation.‘I think if a sufficiently large number of states enacted these laws, the retailer would begin collecting the tax,’ Mazerov said. ‘This is a critical and cost-effective way to market. They can get affordable solicitations from businesses without paying anything until the sale ‘ that’s pretty cost-effective marketing.’Eventually, the courts may rule in states’ favor, according to Mazerov, especially if enough of them pass similar laws limiting a local company’s ability to market products sold by a national Internet retailer. The legislation could also pave the way for Vermont’s attorney general to join with other states in a lawsuit.Small Dog founder Mayer argues the Vermont legislation will be counterproductive because the state won’t be able to make the giant retailers pay.‘This isn’t going to create extra revenue for the state and â ¦ may cause current affiliates to close their doors or reduce the money they’re making,’ Mayer said. ‘The people that are going to gain are Wal-mart and Sears.’  Anne Galloway is editor of vtdigger.orglast_img read more

VTrans lists state roads closed due to flooding

first_imgThe Vermont Agency of Transportation (VTrans) is working to stay ahead of the weather to keep roads open and safe for the travelling public. Lake Champlain has reached historic levels following continued precipitation throughout April and melting snow pack from the very snowy winter, and numerous rivers and streams are at flood level across the state. VTrans has maximized its resources to shore up roads wherever possible, and implement detours where needed, in order to keep the travelling public safe. In an effort to keep the public aware of the road conditions across the state as of Wednesday, the Agency of Transportation reports the following state road conditions across Vermont (note that this report does not cover the status of town roads): State Road Closures: Route 129 in Isle La Motte, (just ahead of West Shore Road) is closed due to water over the roadway and possible culvert damage. Motorists are advised to avoid this section of roadway. Route 36 in St. Albans, between Georgia Shore Road and Bronson Road (1 mile west of St. Albans) is closed due to flooding. Motorists are advised to avoid this section of roadway. Route 125 near Chimney Point between Route 17 and Town Line Road is closed approximately 13 miles west of Middlebury. Route 17 remains open following VTrans’ action to add fill to flooded areas. Maid Stone State Highway is closed due to flooding. Motorists are advised to avoid this section of roadway. Route 73 in Brandon, along the Otter Creek is closed. Motorists are advised to avoid this section of roadway. Smugglers Notch, Jeffersonville to Stowe, remains closed, weather pending. Areas of Ongoing Concern: With continued precipitation, VTrans, in association with Vermont Emergency Management, continues to monitor several problem areas, particularly roads along Lake Champlain and swollen rivers. These roads are not currently closed but may be reduced to one-lane traffic. I-89 South bound in Milton will be one-lane traffic due to instability of the right lane. Route 2 Causeway (Milton) is open to traffic.  VTrans is working to keep this road open with gravel and stone.  Road may be reduced to one-lane travel to accommodate VTrans activities. Motorists advised to proceed with caution. Route 2 in Alburg, between routes 78 and 129, Wagner Point. Some water in the road but both lanes are open. Motorists are advised to reduce speed and exercise caution. Route 118 between Montgomery and Belvidere. There are multiple locations (on 118) that are reduced to one-lane traffic due to slope slides. These are extended events that will last until further notice. Route 122 in Lyndon, between the Interstate and Wheelock Road. One-lane traffic due to slope failure. This will be an extended event that will last until further notice. Route 114 between Canaan and Island Pond, through Norton. Motorists will experience several single-lane areas due to multiple slope failures. For more information please call 802-828-2648 (7am -5pm) or 211 (Vermont Emergency Management). Road condition information is also found at: 511vt.com. This site is updated throughout the day between the hours of 7am -5pm. ##30##last_img read more