Union Bank,Kenneth D Gibbons, Chairman of Union Bankâ s Board of Directors, has announced the promotions that took place at the Bankâ s Annual Meeting held on May 16, 2012. David S Silverman, President of the Union Bank was promoted to Chief Executive Officer, the final step in a succession plan for leadership that began in 2010. Silverman was also promoted to Chief Executive Officer of Union Bankshares, Inc.Silverman began employment with the Bank in 1986 and progressed through numerous departments and positions to his current Bank position of President. Silverman previously held positions as Senior Vice President (1994), Senior Commercial Lender (1999) and Senior Loan Officer (2008). He became President of Union Bankshares, Inc. in April 2011 and had previously been a Vice President of Union Bankshares since 2008.Silverman is an active member of the community, currently serving as Treasurer of Copley Professional Services Group d/b/a Community Health Services of Lamoille Valley, a non-profit primary health care organization. Mr. Silverman is also currently serving on the Board of the Lamoille Economic Development Corporation (LEDC) and on the Executive Committee of Vermont Bankerâ s Association. He has also held the positions of Treasurer and Executive Committee Member of the Stowe Area Association, Member of the Morristown/Morrisville Development Review Board, Commissioner of the Town of Hardwick Electric Department, and has served on the Board of Directors of Lamoille County Mental Health. He also volunteered as an Umpire for Little League and Babe Ruth Baseball in Lamoille County.Stephen H. Kendall was promoted to Senior Vice President, Retail Lending and will become a member of the senior management team. Kendall currently serves as the Senior Retail Officer. He has been with Union Bank since January 2002 and in the banking industry for more than two decades. A native Vermonter, Kendall is on the Board of the Lyric Theatre Company and resides in Shelburne.In addition, five employees were promoted to the officer level. Barbara J. Churchill, Loan Servicing Manager; Jennifer Degree, Electronic Banking Manager; Jessica Eastman, Retail Loan Underwriter; and Lesley R. Russ, Loan Review and Internal Auditor were promoted to Assistant Treasurer. Paul Grogan was promoted to Facilities Officer.Judy R. Smith, Branch Manager for the Bankâ s St. Albans office and Claire Hindes, Branch Manager for the Bankâ s main branch in Morrisville were promoted to Vice President.Union Bank, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Union Bankshares, Inc. (UNB, traded on the NASDAQ Exchange), has been helping people buy homes and local businesses create jobs in area communities since 1891. Headquartered in Morrisville, VT, Union Bank is a full service bank offering deposit, loan, trust and commercial banking services throughout northern Vermont and northwestern New Hampshire. Union Bank has earned an outstanding reputation for residential lending programs and is an SBA Preferred Lender.Proud to be one of the few community banks serving Vermont and New Hampshire, Union Bank maintains a strong commitment to traditional values. In particular, Union Bank is dedicated to providing genuine customer service and community support, donating tens of thousands of dollars to local nonprofits annually. These valuesâ combined with financial expertise, quality products and the latest technologyâ make Union Bank the premier choice for your banking services, both personal and commercial. Union Bank currently maintains 18 banking offices and 34 ATMs. Member FDIC. Equal Housing Lender.Caption: David Silverman, President and Chief Executive Officer, Union Bank
PC Construction,The PC/CDM Joint Venture, which brings together the industry-leading expertise in water treatment facility design and construction of PC Construction and CDM Smith, has been awarded the approximately $215 million Tunnel Dewatering Pump Station & Enhanced Clarification Facility project for DC Water.The design-build project will be constructed at the Blue Plains Advanced Wastewater Treatment Plant in Washington, DC. The tunnel dewatering pump station (TDPS) and the enhanced clarification facility (ECF) are part of the larger DC Clean Rivers Project, mandated under a Federal Consent Decree between the United States, the District Government and DC Water, to build tunnels to temporarily store combined sewer (sanitary and storm) overflows until they can be pumped to the treatment facility. Currently, rainwater from DC Water’s 725-square-mile service area can overwhelm the system and treatment facilities with a diluted mix of rainwater and sewage, resulting in potential overflow into the Anacostia and Potomac rivers as well as Rock Creek.Major project components include the construction of a 250 million gallons per day (mgd) TDPS which will pump a diluted mix of rainwater and sewage to the ECF. The new, 250 mgd ECF will utilize a ballasted high-rate clarification process. Treated water will be disinfected before discharge to the Potomac River. The TDPS and ECF will be expandable to 500 mgd in the future.The design phase of this project will begin in August, with construction following shortly thereafter. The overall tunnel project for DC Water is expected to be completed by March 2018.Since 2010, PC Construction has worked on four other projects for DC Water with a total estimated value of $375 million.‘We are pleased to work with the PC/CDM Joint Venture on this important component of our wet weather plan,’ said DC Water General Manager George Hawkins. ‘The projects that make up the wet weather plan achieve both nitrogen reduction and CSO abatement, improving the health of our waterways and saving hundreds of millions of dollars.’‘This massive project was awarded to the PC/CDM Joint Venture because of our successful performance on multiple projects with DC Water, and because we go above and beyond on every job,’said Kevin McCarthy, president of PC Construction. ‘This was an ‘all-in’effort throughout the procurement process with PC Construction’s operations, business development, estimating andscheduling groups ‘and our partners at CDM Smith ‘working night and day to meet the needs of DC Water and the residents, businesses and organizations in our nation’s capitol.’‘CDM Smith partnered with PC Construction based on a long history of successful projects and shared values between the firms,’said David Schwartz, vice president with CDM Smith. ‘We have also developed excellent working relationships among our local staff through over $300M of design-build work delivered or under contract in the DC Metropolitan area, including DC Water’s Biosolids Main Process Train, one of the greenest projects in the region.’About PC ConstructionPC Construction offers general contracting, construction management and design-build services to private companies and public entities of all sizes. The company manages projects up and down the East Coast and in the southeastern United States from its corporate headquarters in South Burlington, Vermont and regional offices in Portland, Maine and North Carolina. A construction industry leader for more than 50 years, PC Construction (formerly Pizzagalli Construction) is guided to success by its more than 900 dedicated employee-owners.About CDM SmithCDM Smith provides lasting and integrated solutions in water, environment, transportation, energy and facilities to public and private clients worldwide. As a full-service consulting, engineering, construction and operations firm, we deliver exceptional client service, quality results and enduring value across the entire project life cycle.
by Anne Galloway vtdigger.org The statewide property tax could go up 7 cents ‘ not 5 cents ‘ next year as originally reported by the tax commissioner, Mary Peterson.In her letter to lawmakers in November, Peterson recommended that the rate increase by 5 cents per $100 of assessed property value. In a memo sent on Friday, she issued a correction: There was an error in the original calculation that could push the rate to 7 cents. The state’s consultant ‘erroneously reported’ the State and Local Government Price Index in several calculations that skewed the formula.Last year, the rate went up 5 cents for homestead (residential) property and 6 cents for non-residential (commercial and second home) property owners, according to a spreadsheet from the Joint Fiscal Office. The statewide base property tax rate increased by 7 cents from fiscal year 2009 to fiscal year 2014.If the Legislature, as expected, approves another 5 cent increase in fiscal year 2015, the rates will be 99 cents for homestead and $1.49 for non-residential.That increase will be painful for many taxpayers.Under a possible 7-cent scenario, rates would go up to $1.01 for homestead and $1.51 for non-residential property owners.But the net effect of the additional 2 cents on homeowners ‘ if lawmakers approve the higher rate and bump up the per pupil reimbursement to towns ‘ is negligible. Non-residential property owners will see a slight increase, as a result of the 2-cent bump.Jeffrey Francis, director of the Vermont Superintendents Association, said the mistake hurts the administration’s message, especially since the commissioner’s Nov. 26 memo and Gov. Peter Shumlin’s letter admonishing school districts to reduce spending were released with such fanfare.‘My reaction was, it was unfortunate that they didn’t have the number right the first time,’ Francis said. ‘It adds to the challenge of the budgeting process.’In Peterson’s original letter, the base income tax was 1.8 percent. Under the law, homeowners who pay 1.8 percent or more of their income in property taxes are eligible to receive a discounted property tax rate based on income, instead of the assessed value of their property. The base income rate been 1.8 percent since fiscal year 2009.Peterson bumped up the base income tax rate to 1.84 percent in her memo on Friday. According to state statute, when homestead property taxpayers pay more than $1.01 per $100 of assessed value, that triggers a change in the base income tax.That threshold was reached when Peterson made the recommendation to increase the rate by 7 cents on Monday, driving up the rate to $1.01 for homeowners.This year, the state will deduct $153 million from $591 million in homestead education tax revenues to pay for the income sensitivity program. The JFO’s Ed Fund spreadsheet does not separate amounts paid by income-sensitized Vermonters and taxpayers who are not eligible for the rebate.Freezing the base education reimbursement to towns could impact local property taxesThe memo presents lawmakers with another issue. Peterson points out that the Legislature could keep the rate at 5 cents by freezing the ‘base education amount,’ or the per pupil reimbursement rate to towns.Lawmakers must decide whether to increase the statewide rate or to flatten reimbursements to towns and potentially drive up local tax rates in their home districts.Historically, lawmakers have pegged per pupil rate increases to inflation. For three years during the recession (fiscal years 2010, 2011 and 2012) the base rate was frozen at $8,544. After that, the rate was increased by $607.Early projections show that school spending could increase as much as 5 percent. That would drive the base education rate up from $9,151 to $9,382 this year in concert with the statewide rate increase.Francis is concerned that lawmakers may freeze the base education rate, which would drive up local property taxes.‘I do not think because of this newly found factor they ought to say we’re not going to increase the base education amount,’ Francis said.No matter what, he says, local school districts are developing ‘responsible budgets, period.’Gov. Peter Shumlin plans to hold a summit in January to re-evaluate the state’s 16-year-old education finance system, which includes an income-sensitivity component that he says ‘inoculates’ low-income Vermonters from property tax increases.Peterson says national financial experts are taking a ‘good look’ at the state’s education finance system and will come up with alternatives that ‘could address better spending decisions to the amount of revenue that’s available.’
Vermont Business Magazine Weekly unemployment claims in Vermont fell to their lowest level in memory last week. There were 309 new, regular benefit claims for Unemployment Insurance in Vermont, a decrease of 37 from the previous week’s total and 89 fewer than they were a year ago. Generally, claims have been running below last year’s totals. Total claims were down in most regions of the state. By industry, claims fell in manufacturing but otherwise held steady with very low total. As has been the trend, Services led all categories with 48 percent of all claims.Altogether 3,212 new and continuing claims were filed, a decrease of 267 from a week ago, and 336 fewer than a year ago. The Department processed 0 First Tier claims for benefits under Emergency Unemployment Compensation, 2008 (EUC08). The total for all programs was 3,212 claims, 267 fewer than last week, and 339 fewer than the same time last year.For the week by industry, Services claims were up slightly in number and as a percentage from the prior week and still represent the preponderance of claims for any one sector, at 53 percent of all claims. Manufacturing claims were down after a spike the previous from the prior week. By region, Total Claims in every region of the state was down for the week and mostly down from last year. The Unemployment Weekly Report can be found at: http://www.vtlmi.info/(link is external). Previously released Unemployment Weekly Reports and other UI reports can be found at: http://www.vtlmi.info/lmipub.htm#uc(link is external)Vermont’s unemployment rate held at 3.6 percent in August, as total employment fell and unemployment was up, but the total labor market was also down. SEE STORY.NOTE: Employment (nonfarm payroll) – A count of all persons who worked full- or part-time or received pay from a nonagricultural employer for any part of the pay period which included the 12th of the month. Because this count comes from a survey of employers, persons who work for two different companies would be counted twice. Therefore, nonfarm payroll employment is really a count of the number of jobs, rather than the number of persons employed. Persons may receive pay from a job if they are temporarily absent due to illness, bad weather, vacation, or labor-management dispute. This count is based on where the jobs are located, regardless of where the workers reside, and is therefore sometimes referred to as employment “by place of work.” Nonfarm payroll employment data are collected and compiled based on the Current Employment Statistics (CES) survey, conducted by the Vermont Department of Labor. This count was formerly referred to as nonagricultural wage and salary employment.
Northstar Vermont Yankee,Vermont Business Magazine Entergy Corp. (NYSE:ETR) today announced that its wholesale generation division, Entergy Wholesale Commodities, has entered into an agreement to sell its 583-megawatt Rhode Island State Energy Center (RISEC), located in Johnston, RI, to Carlyle Power Partners. The facility is a natural gas-fired, combined-cycle generating plant that entered commercial service in 2002.The base sales price is approximately $490 million, subject to closing adjustments. Entergy Wholesale Commodities purchased the plant for $346 million in December 2011. Entergy expects to record a net gain of approximately $0.50 per share assuming closing of the sale occurs in the fourth quarter 2015, subject to working capital and other adjustments. The gain on sale will be classified as a special item, and as such, excluded from operational earnings.“Our strategy for EWC is focused on being disciplined about reducing risk and freeing up financial resources for other opportunities,” said Entergy Chairman and CEO Leo Denault. “RISEC has been a very good investment for us, and its sale is consistent with that strategy.”Entergy shut down the 605 MW Vermont Yankee nuclear plant in Vernon in December 2014.Source: Entergy 10.8.2015
Vermont Business Magazine The third meeting of the Solar Siting Task Force will take place on Thursday, October 22, 2015, from 1:00 – 3:00 pm in Room 11 of the Vermont State House, 115 State Street, Montpelier, Vermont. The Solar Siting Task Force was created in Act 56(link is external) of the 2014-2015 legislative session. Details on the membership, duties, and timeframe of the Task Force can be found in Act 56, Sec. 26g.The draft agenda for the October 22, 2015 meeting is listed below. The remaining meetings of the Solar Siting Task Force will occur as follows:Tuesday, November 3, 2015 from 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM in Room 11 of the Vermont State HouseFriday, November 13, 2015 from 1:00 – 3:00 PM in Room 11 of the Vermont State HouseThursday, December 3, 2015 from 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM in Room 10 of the Vermont State HouseThursday, December 17, 2015 from 1:00 – 3:00 PM in Room 10 of the Vermont State HouseSolar Siting Task Force October 22, 2015 Draft Meeting AgendaI. Welcome and Overview of Agenda and Discussion of Future Meetings (5 mins)- PSD Commissioner Christopher RecchiaII. Approval of 9/17/15 Minutes (5 mins)III. Overview of Act 250 and Section 248 (30 mins)- Lou Borie and Jon Groveman, Natural Resources Board and Jeannie Oliver, Department of Public ServiceIV. Overview of VSA Title 24 Chapter 117, State Land Use Goals and Energy (20 mins)- Sharon Murray, Vermont Planners AssociationV. Town Experience and Suggestions for Solar Development (20 mins)VI. Invitation pendingDeveloper Experience and Suggestions for Solar Development (20 mins)VII. Chad Farrell, Encore RedevelopmentPublic Comments (20 mins)VIII. Other BusinessIX. Next meetings:Tuesday, November 3, 2015 from 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM in Room 11 of the Vermont State HouseFriday, November 13, 2015 from 1:00 – 3:00 PM in Room 11 of the Vermont State HouseThursday, December 3, 2015 from 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM in Room 10 of the Vermont State HouseThursday, December 17, 2015 from 1:00 – 3:00 PM in Room 10 of the Vermont StateX. Wrap UpAll meetings of the Solar Siting Task Force are open to the public.The Public Service Department is an agency within the executive branch of Vermont state government. Its charge is to represent the public interest in matters regarding energy, telecommunications, water and wastewater.
Vermont Business Magazine One of the most beloved and generous Vermonters and a Burlington native died Monday, January 11. Cynthia Hoehl, 73, was a noted philanthropist and with her late husband, Bob, established the Hoehl Family Foundation, which contributed to many causes and organizations here in Vermont, in Florida and internationally. Her obituary, which first ran in the Burlington Free Press on Thursday, is below.Rita Markley, Executive Director, Committee on Temporary Shelter (COTS), sent this tribute: “Cindy Hoehl was a longtime supporter of COTS who cheered our successes and urged us on when the obstacles seemed overwhelming. I will never forget her weekly calls and support during the late ’90s and early 2000, when we were frantically scrambling to find space for the skyrocketing number of homeless families turning to COTS each night. Cindy could not bear the idea that any child would be forced to spend the night in an unheated car or an abandoned building for lack of a safe, warm space. She just wouldn’t stand for it, not here in Vermont and certainly not while she was around to prevent it.Cynthia and Robert Hoehl at Saint Michael’s College in 2010. Courtesy photos”She didn’t just support us financially, she called me with property leads, drove me to see several places that might work as a winter refuge and, personally, lightened me up during that tense time by making me laugh with a funny story or a witty play on words. “Cindy Hoehl walked in every COTS walk going all the way back before 1992, even when she was down in Naples, Florida; she’d literally take a pedometer and pace out the exact distance. Cindy made time to attend our notoriously unglamorous Annual Meetings, helped shovel out a new garden at our family shelter on Main Street, and stayed close to our work through the decades.”Her financial support sustained COTS and many other organizations. And her personal involvement set a high standard by showing that philanthropy isn’t just writing a check, it’s active engagement in shaping a better world.”Cindy believed passionately that everyone deserves not just a home, but a chance. Her countless acts of generosity leave a legacy that affirms profoundly the value and dignity of every human life. She was extraordinary. “I am so glad that I had a chance to visit with her just before Thanksgiving and tell her how much she mattered to COTS, to all of those we serve, and to me.”Saint Michael’s College President John J Neuhauser sent this statement: “Saint Michael’s College mourns the loss of a long-time friend and supporter of the College. Cindy and Bob Hoehl began their association with the College when both were undergraduates, Bob at Saint Michael’s and Cindy at Trinity College. Certainly their continuing generosity to the College has created a legacy of gratitude from the many students who have benefited.“Cindy never forgot who she was, where she lived, and the importance of building the community that had first nourished her. Her good humor and intense, unwavering devotion to those of the community who need assistance mark her time here so well. We will remember her as someone who deeply cared about those around her, her family to be sure, but also the institutions that nourish this corner of Vermont. The College is enormously proud that she was a member of our family. We who live and learn here will honor her memory by continuing the good work she unselfishly began.”Blanche Podhajski, PhD, President, Stern Center for Language and Learning, said: “Cynthia K Hoehl epitomized the best of Vermont and the heart of philanthropy. She prided herself on being a mother and a teacher – she was smart, witty and loving. She established the Cynthia K Hoehl Institute for Excellence at the Stern Center to support extending teacher knowledge and student learning. When I would thank her for her great generosity, she told me she believed Scripture: ‘to whom much is given, much is expected.’ Cynthia K Hoehl exceeded expectations. I feel very privileged to have known and loved her.”ObituaryCynthia HoehlAge: 73 • Ferrisburgh, VTAfter having spent a lovely holiday and birthday surrounded by her children, grandchildren, and friends. Cynthia Hoehl, 73, passed away peacefully at home on January 11, 2016. Born on January 2, 1943, in Burlington, VT, Cynthia Ann was the youngest daughter of John Ferdinand and Christina Paula Kieslich. After her father passed away, her mother remarried Frank Deslauriers, and the family moved to St. Albans, VT where she graduated from Bellows Free Academy, St. Albans. Cynthia attended Trinity College and as a freshman, and at 16 years old, met the love of her life, Robert “Bob” Hoehl. They married at St. Mary’s Church in St. Albans on August 17, 1963.Cynthia, Cindy to her close friends, was a loving mother, making a home for her ever-growing family and supporting Bob in his business endeavors from IBM to BDP and finally IDX. She and her family fondly enjoyed reminiscing of the homes and friends from Barre, Burlington, Essex Junction, and South Burlington. With her kids all busy in school, mom took the opportunity to continue her education. She began by attending the kids’ high school to master algebra, in 1991 she received her Master’s in history from Saint Michael’s College, and in 2010 she received an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from SMC. She also enjoyed extensive traveling with family and friends. Cynthia and Bob’s success allowed them the privilege of being able to give back to these communities they called home, and in 2002 they earned the title “Outstanding Vermont Family Philanthropist” from the Northern New England Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals.She was active in many charitable organizations in the greater Burlington area with a particular focus on enhancing the lives of Vermonters through the support of their basic human needs. Dismas House, The Lund Center, COTS and the Cynthia K. Hoehl Institute for Excellence at the Stern Center were among the many beneficiaries of her generosity. From teaching the inmates to read at Chittenden County Correctional Facility to building houses in Immokalee County, Florida and a school in Haiti, she heeded her call to service and charity.Cynthia now joins her husband and partner, Bob, who passed away in 2010; her sister, Christine, and her brother, John.She is survived by two brothers, Karl and Paul; her sisters-in-law, Irene, Donna, Dot and Anita; her six children: Krystin and Michael Downes of Tully, NY; Robert and Betsy Hoehl of Clearwater Beach, FL; John and Martha Hoehl of South Burlington; Katharine and Mark Kostin of Yarmouth, ME; Nicholas and Stacy Hoehl of Waukesha, WI; Tad and Jessica Hoehl of Shelburne; as well as her 15 grandchildren.A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at Saint Michael’s College Chapel on Saturday, January 23, at 11:00 a.m. A reception will follow the ceremony at the Hoehl Welcome Center. Arrangements are by Boucher and Pritchard Funeral Directors. In lieu of sending flowers, the family asks that you take a loved one to dinner to talk, and if the Spirit moves you,make either a time or monetary donation to your favorite charity.
Fishing at Molly’s Falls Pond. Vermont Fish & Wildlife photo.by Chris Kolmar, Zippia All work and no play… well, you know the rest. That’s why it’s important to find a good balance between putting in the hours at the office—and on the golf course. (Feel free to replace golf course with your favorite leisure activity that isn’t boring.) No matter the type of fun, there are some states that seem to be better about penciling it in, in general, than others.These are the 10 best states for a healthy work-life balance:UtahMinnesotaMassachusettsNebraskaWisconsinVermontIowaIdahoNorth DakotaRhode IslandYep, that’s right—Utah takes the cake in this one; that delicious, but oh so balanced cake. Keep reading to find out why Utah, and the rest of our 10 winners, made the cut.How We Determined the States in America with the Best Work-life BalanceWhen it comes to work-life balance, there are some key characteristics that apply, no matter where in the country you live. Those two key ingredients (I can’t seem to stop thinking about that cake now…) are, of course, happiness and satisfaction.With that in mind, we identified this set of criteria from the 2010-2014 American Community Survey(link is external) and other sources (See below):Commute time (Shorter is better)Hours worked per week (Shorter is better)Married population (Higher is better)College educated (Higher is better)Unemployment rate (Lower is better)Religious population (Higher is better)Things to do per capita (Higher is better)Unemployment numbers reflect the preliminary data from the BLS(link is external) for February 2016. Religion data taken from the 2010 Religion Census(link is external).Basically, if you don’t waste time getting to and from work, work fewer hours per week, and have a family, you’re on the road to work-life balance.Of course, it’s also important that there are things to do and that the people who do want to work can actually work. Plus, it’s always nice to have some sort of higher purpose. So with these things in mind, we included the population density as a proxy for things to do, the unemployment rate, and percentage of people that are adherents to a religion.We then ranked each place from one to 50 (for each state) in each criterion, with one being the best in any given category.Finally, we took the average rank across all criteria, where the state with the lowest score was crowned our “Best State for Work-Life Balance.” Here’s lookin’ at you, Utah.1. UtahSource: Flickr User Steven GernerYou know what they say about the Beehive State: every bee has a good work-life balance. No, no they don’t say that. But maybe “they” should, because residents in this state don’t just have a good work-life balance; they have the best in the country.Why? Glad you asked. It’s because of three factors in particular: 1) Utah residents work the fewest hours on average per week in the country. Just 36.8. And sure, it’s not exactly the most densely-populated of states (like not at all), but who cares—everyone there is already married, it seems (or at least 56 percent of residents—the most in the country), so you’ll always have someone around to hang out with. Plus, the unemployment rate is the seventh lowest in the U.S.!2. MinnesotaSource: Flickr User JoshBerglund19Here’s another state that’s not too densely-populated, but it more than makes up for this, oh, in pretty much every other category. First and foremost, residents here only work an average of 37.9 hours per week. Who needs a 40-hour work week?Second, over half the population is married (52 percent), and even more (56 percent) are involved in some sort of religious or spiritual practice. And God knows that’s important to feeling balanced. (See what we did there?)3. MassachusettsSource: Flickr User Steven GuzzardiOkay, who’s surprised to see Massachusetts on this list? C’mon. We all know that residents in this state can get down on work (likely they have to, because of the higher cost of living), but they can also just plain get down. There are so many things to do in this state—as evidenced by the densely-packed population—and with an average of 37.6 hours worked per week, plenty of time to do them.Massachusetts residents are also made up of the most college-grads in the country, which yes, means a lot of hard work—but it also means that when you want to play, you won’t be surrounded by a bunch of half-wits.4. NebraskaSource: Flickr User Amanda MacArthurOkay, going from the densely-packed Massachusetts to Nebraska may seem like quite a jump; after all, there’s not as much going on in Nebraska. (Its nickname is the Cornhusker State…)But that doesn’t mean that residents don’t still enjoy a healthy work-life balance. Case in point: the commute time. At just 18 minutes on average, these guys aren’t dilly-dallying in the car. Instead they’re… well, by the looks of it, working (just 39.1 hours per week, though!), going to church or meditating or something, or hangin’ with their boo (53 percent are married.) So who says there’s nothing to do in Nebraska?5. WisconsinSource: Flickr User Richard HurdAh, Wisconsin: the land of thousands of streams and rivers, dairy farms aplenty, and you know, all those badgers…It’s also the land of both work and play for many residents who enjoy a healthy heaping of both. First off, these guys aren’t messing around with intense commutes to work—at just 22 minutes on average, they come in at No. 12 in this category. They also ranked well for their married population—51 percent of folks—and for working fewer than 40 hours per week on average.Keep up the good work! But, you know, don’t work too hard.6. VermontSource: Flickr User Nate MerrillFun fact! Did you know that 35 percent of Vermont’s residents are college-educated, making this the 7th most educated state in the country? And did you know that said residents only work an average of 37.6 hours per week? And that the unemployment rate is the 7th lowest in the country?!!Well now you do. This is why Vermont made the cut. Drop the mic.7. IowaSource: Flickr User Alan LightOkay, calm down: You don’t have to live in some densely-populated urban mecca to have a good time—and Iowans certainly do have a good time. Because they’re not constantly at work or spending precious time behind the wheel of their cars (just 19 minutes on average, in fact!)53 percent of residents here are married, and it has the 10th lowest unemployment rate in the country. So, that’s fun.8. IdahoSource: Flickr User FishermansdaughterFor those looking for a healthier work-life balance, this state is a gem. (See what we did there? It’s called The Gem State!) Sure, it’s not the most densely-packed state, but hey, that can be relaxing, right?And what better way to spend your time (likely with your spouse, as you know, 56 percent of you guys are married) than to relax, away from it all? You certainly have the time—Idahoans only work 37.9 hours per week!9. North DakotaSource: Flickr User U.S. Department of Agriculture’s photostreamAnd speaking of sparsely-populated states… North Dakota! For real, though, if you’re looking for a state where you have plenty of space to relax or play, this is your spot. No one lives here. Kidding—they’re just really spread out. Which is interesting, seeing as though this state has the lowest average commute time in the country (17 minutes.)Other factors in its #WINNING – it also has the third lowest unemployment rate and as the second highest number of religious or spiritual residents. Amen to that.10. Rhode IslandSource: Flickr User leeseanNow we jump from one of the least densely-populated states to the second most packed-in state. Pretty much no one is married here (45 percent) and the unemployment rate isn’t great—but residents still manage to work a good 37 hours per week and certainly put in the time to get a college degree—at least 31 percent of them did.Plus, almost 55 percent of Rhode Island residents are religious or spiritual. Ah, balance.Get Back to WorkOkay, you’ve had your fun—now get back to work! Or, if you found this to be more work than play, please feel free to call it a day and head out to the driving range. (Again—feel free to replace with your favorite leisure/non-boring activity.)Have fun! (But not too much fun.)Zippia is a career expert site, where job seekers can learn about the best career paths to take, based on their chosen field of study. For more, visit https://www.zippia.com/about-us/(link is external)
Vermont Business Magazine Another positive performance by the Personal Income Tax has pushed annual revenues ahead of projections for the year. Secretary of Administration Trey Martin released Vermont’s “preliminary” revenue results today for October. Preliminary data reflects a good month for the General Fund but a down month for Transportation and Education Funds. October is the fourth month of Fiscal Year 2017. The Sales & Use tax, the second most important revenue source, struggled again, as did the Corporate tax. Both are lagging behind targets and noticeably behind year-to-year totals. The Corporate tax has been strong the last couple of years and has to some extent offset a weakness in the Personal Income Tax. The third largest tax is Rooms & Meals, which has stayed relatively strong both month to month and year to year.The General Fund for the month of October collected $120.34 million, $1.36 million above the consensus revenue target adopted by the Emergency Board on July 21, 2016. This slightly higher than expected performance in October was driven by ups in the Personal Income and Meals and Rooms taxes of $1.55 million and $1.05 million respectively. These ups were partially offset by underperformance in the Sales and Use Tax of -$0.43 million, Inheritance and Estate Tax of -$1.80 million and the Property Transfer Tax of – $0.13 million. Through the first four months of the fiscal year the General Fund is slightly ahead of target on the consensus revenue projection from July. Year to date receipts in General Fund are $469.88 million, versus a target of $468.56 million.Agency of Administration Secretary Trey Martin said, “These numbers reflect continued strong management of Vermont’s fiscal health by the Shumlin Administration. Over the last six years, revenues have grown at a steady 3 percent rate, Vermont businesses have brought 19,000 new jobs online, and total budget growth has been held to 3.7 percent overall. This team has delivered balanced budgets year after year without increasing income tax, sales tax, or rooms and meals tax rates.”Revenue targets have been downgraded over the last few years as the recovery from the Great Recession has not been as robust as expected.The Transportation Fund collected $22.65 million for the month of October, -$1.02 million below a target of $23.68 million. This underperformance was driven primarily by a down in the Motor Vehicle Fees of -$0.56 million and the Purchase and Use Tax of-$0.29 million. Year to date, receipts in the Transportation Fund are down -$2.88 million against target.The Education Fund collected $17.00 million for the month of October, missing its target by -$0.43 million. All major revenue streams experienced a slight underperformance.Overall, revenues have increased year over year in the General Fund by +$13.82 million or 3.03%, the Transportation Fund +$0.12 million or 0.13%, and the Education Fund +$0.06 million or 0.09%.Secretary Martin added, “We are pleased to see the General Fund slightly ahead of target year to date, although we will be watching the individual components closely as trends begin emerging over the next few months.”
Stowe Mountain Resort,Spruce Peak courtesy photoVermont Business Magazine Spruce Peak at Stowe has announced a total of more than $70 million in closed and newly signed contracts in 2016, bolstered by the introduction of the 18 four-bedroom Village Townhomes in November 2016. To date, nine townhomes residences have sold, ranging from $1.8 to $2.2 million. Architects and interior designers from Zehren and Associates, a renowned mountain country firm, designed the Village Townhomes with families and multigenerational living in mind. The residences feature four bedrooms, three full baths and a powder room and range from 2,000-2,200 square feet of living space plus a heated garage. The contemporary alpine-designed homes are punctuated with exposed wood beams and 17-foot-high ceilings with floor-to-ceiling windows that beautifully frame the snow-covered mountains. The kitchens offer details like shaker-style wood cabinets and barn wood kitchen islands with Wolf and Sub-Zero appliances.Spruce Peak markets itself as New England’s only true luxury mountain resort community and the “Aspen of the Northeast.”Just off the heels of the completion of its $90 million Village Center, Spruce Peak’s real estate opportunities feature community amenities that are carving the path for the East Coast’s fastest-selling second home market. Residences are centered around a 10,000-square-foot ice rink and the newly opened, Adventure Center—a multi-season activity center that acts as the home base for the Stowe Children’s Ski and Ride School, Stowe Rocks—a climbing gym that replicates some of the local rock formations, a movie screening area, daycare and more. The Village also boasts more than a dozen shops, boutiques, restaurants, and skier service facilities. Located at the base of Vermont’s highest mountain, Mount Mansfield, Spruce Peak’s owners also take advantage of the existing 21,000 square-foot spa and pool, a 450-seat performance center, a Bob Cupp-designed mountain golf course, and access to Stowe Mountain Lodge, the most sought after ski-in/ski-out hotel lodging in the east.“When we started this project, we saw the East Coast real estate market was missing a family-oriented luxury solution for second home buyers near Vermont’s most coveted ski destination,” said Spruce Peak at Stowe’s Vice President & Director of Real Estate, Sam Gaines. “Our goal was to create a new residential offering that affords owners the opportunity to seek out their own adventures while providing a safe neighborhood setting where their children can create lasting memories.”Spruce Peak at Stowe is a 2-hour drive from Montreal, a 3-hour drive from Boston and a 45-minute flight from the New York area via Tradewind Aviation’s Northeast shuttle service.About Spruce PeakSpruce Peak at Stowe is a four season, slope-side affluent community located within Stowe Mountain Resort, at the base of Spruce Peak and Mt. Mansfield in Vermont. The luxury alpine community is the only resort in the Northeast with ski-in/ski-out residences, a 21,000 square-foot spa, a 450-seat performance center, an award-winning Bob Cupp-designed golf course, and 30,000 square-foot Adventure Center with rock-climbing walls and a world-class children’s Ski and Ride School. Spruce Peak at Stowe is located at the base of the tallest mountain in Vermont, and is surrounded by 2,000 acres of preserved wildlife habitat. Spruce Peak at Stowe is a member of the Audubon International Sustainable Communities Program. Due to that prestigious designation, Spruce Peak became the first mountain resort in the nation to earn the Audubon International Green Community Award.About Stowe Mountain ResortStowe is an internationally renowned year-round destination. Stowe Mountain Resort, with majestic Mount Mansfield and Spruce Peak, is filled with activities for every season; golf, tennis, hiking, biking, fishing, skiing, snowboarding, world-class dining, shopping, spa and more. Stowe’s historic village combined with Vermont’s most spectacular landscape creates quintessential New England getaways.Source: Stowe, VT (December 20, 2016) – Spruce Peak at Stowe. For more information, visit www.stowe.com(link is external). www.sprucepeak.com(link is external).