$5.9 million in grants will create, restore housing in Springfield, Johnson, Bellows Falls

first_imgDouglas administration officials announced three major affordable housing grants on Tuesday that will create or restore housing in Springfield, Johnson, and Bellows Falls. At a ceremony at the Rockingham Canal House in Bellows Falls, Deputy Commissioner of Housing and Community Affairs Tayt Brooks presented a grant for $3.5 million to Stewart Property Management, which will be used to assist in the purchase and rehabilitation of Rockingham Canal House, a 41-unit affordable senior housing property. “Foreclosed properties of this nature are exactly what the Neighborhood Stabilization Program was designed to help,” Brooks said. “This property, which also provides affordable housing for disabled residents, was foreclosed on and was at risk of being lost, including the federal rental and operating assistance provided to the property.  That is why I am so excited to be here today to announce that because of this grant we will preserve important affordable housing units for Vermonters who really need them.”Late last year the federal government authorized Vermont to distribute $19 million in federal Neighborhood Stabilization Program funds to be used to buy and resell foreclosed homes and to refurbish other buildings as part of the response to the mortgage crisis.The state’s plan for distributing the funds calls for providing $7 million to the Vermont Housing Finance Agency to buy and re-sell foreclosed homes to low- and moderate-income Vermonters.  $3.1 million of the funds will be made available to municipalities that can administer their own such Neighborhood Stabilization plans.  $8.9 million will go to non-profit or private developers for specific projects, with $3 million of the money administered for housing funding by the Vermont Housing and Conservation Board and $5.9 million administered by the Vermont Community Development Program.A grant for $1 million was also awarded to Springfield Housing Unlimited and Housing Vermont, which will be given as a deferred loan to help restore the historic Ellis Block building, which was almost completely destroyed by a fire on July 8, 2008.The partnership has already begun work on the building, which included the movie theater which premiered the Simpson Movie and 9 affordable apartments on the upper stories.“This is an important project for Springfield,” Brooks said. “The Vermont Community Development Program provided a $165,000 grant to seal the building and prevent further damage last winter.”The final grant is for $1.4 million to Lamoille Housing Partnership and Housing Vermont for a deferred loan to Johnson Community Housing to redevelop the contaminated, vacant and blighted former Vermont Electric Cooperative building in downtown Johnson into 24 new affordable rental units, known as Johnson Community Housing.“This property is located just blocks away from stores, banks, restaurants and the elementary school making it an ideal location for housing,” Brooks said.Governor Jim Douglas praised the staff at the Vermont Community Development Program for its work on crafting the NSP plan and committing all of the NSP funds which it controlled.“Not only did this team help craft the mechanism for disbursing this money, but only weeks after receiving approval from the Legislature they have succeeded in getting all of the money out the door, where it can begin creating jobs,” Douglas said.  “These projects will put Vermonters to work redeveloping these sites and creating affordable housing opportunities for Vermonters in need.”To view the complete plan visit: www.dhca.state.vt.us/VCDP/NSP.html(link is external)###last_img read more

Broome County to turn Christmas trees into compost for community use

first_img“If theres any kind of chemicals or paint on your trees we can’t take those because it will contaminate the compost and obviously we can’t take your fake trees just your regular run of the mill pine trees,” said Brewer. That compost will then be made available to the community just in time for the spring growing season. From there the county will take those dead trees and break them down, turning them into compost. “The compost will be available to all residents in the Spring,” Brewer said. “It’s meant for just residential purposes and you can come pick it up any time in the spring,” said Brewer. “There’s two drop offs for the county,” said Jessica Brewer, Materials Recovery Manager for Broome County. “You can come to the landfill directly and we have a roll off bin or you can take it to Grippen Park” Brewer said. Brewer also says to make sure your tree hasn’t been treated with chemicals, and is real, before dropping it off. ENDICOTT (WBNG) — The Broome County Division of Solid Waste Management is happy to take your Christmas Tree off your hands. Brewer says the county asks that you remove all decorations before dropping the tree off. The county will be accepting trees until the end of Januarylast_img read more

BP investors press company on climate change reporting, targets

first_imgBP investors yesterday overwhelmingly backed a shareholder resolution calling for the oil and gas major to describe how its strategy is consistent with the goals of the Paris Agreement on climate change.More than 99% of votes cast were in favour of the resolution, which was initiated by investors acting as part of the engagement initiative Climate Action 100+.The resolution was expected to pass. Co-filed by nearly 60 institutions owning 10% of BP’s voting shares between them, including six of the UK’s 10 largest fund managers, it was also backed by BP itself.Stephanie Pfeifer, CEO of the Institutional Investors Group on Climate Change (IIGCC), said the ultimate level of support for the resolution at the AGM “sends a clear message that investors expect companies to act on climate change”. “With the resolution passed, BP is now legally bound to set out a strategy to ensure it is aligned with the goals of the Paris Agreement,” she added. “The company believe they already meet this objective, so it’s now down to them to show this is the case.”According to Bruce Duguid, head of stewardship at Hermes EOS, which jointly led the IIGCC/Climate Action 100+ engagement group on BP, the resolution was “carefully designed to have the high ambition of a strategy consistent with the goals of the Paris Agreement, combined with robust reporting requirements by which to demonstrate this, while leaving flexibility for the company to set the precise strategy”.Scope 3 ‘heroes’Investors were also asked to vote on another shareholder resolution at the BP AGM, co-ordinated by Dutch campaign group Follow This.It called on BP to include within its targets emissions from the use of its energy products, which are known as Scope 3 emissions. The resolution was not backed by the company and received 8.35% of the vote; 6% of voting shareholders abstained.Follow This’s Mark van Baal said 8% was impressive for an NGO resolution, and noted that the resolution received more backing than when the equivalent resolution was first tabled at Royal Dutch Shell. Shell is the only oil and gas major to have set targets for Scope 3 emissions.Jeanne Martin, senior campaigns officer at pressure group ShareAction, said: “There’s clearly appetite for BP to set emissions reduction targets for its clients’ products, with some of BP’s largest investors already announcing that they would call for this if BP failed to deliver a Paris-consistent strategy in a year’s time.”Van Baal said the institutional investors that voted for the Follow This resolution were “climate heroes”.last_img read more

MLB trade rumors: Mets ‘open to dealing’ closer Edwin Diaz

first_img MLB trade rumors: At least 8 teams have inquired about deal for Mets’ Noah Syndergaard The Mets entered play Tuesday with a 46-54 record. They’re seven games out of the second wild-card spot and trail the Braves by 13 games in the National League East. The Mets appear committed to selling at the July 31 trade deadline.New York is “open to dealing” closer Edwin Diaz but will only move him if it “hits a home run,” according to a report from ESPN, which cites unidentified league sources. Dominic Smith doesn’t want to be traded: ‘I only want to play for the Mets’ MLB trade rumors: ‘Chances are pretty high’ Mets move Zack Wheeler before deadline The Mets acquired Diaz, along with Robinson Cano, in exchange for two top prospects — Jarred Kelenic and Justin Dunn — and other pieces. Diaz, however, has struggled with New York so far and holds a 1-6 record with a 4.81 ERA in 42 appearances.”To be honest, I don’t really have an answer right now, because when I go out there and pitch, I try to do my job every day,” Diaz said earlier this month, via the New York Daily News. “I think lately in this last stretch I haven’t been able to find those three, four, five games in a row where I can put up zeroes. In the beginning of the season, I could. But lately, I haven’t been getting it done.” Related News New York is reportedly considering moving Zack Wheeler, Jason Vargas, and Todd Frazier, among others.”I think we have to face our reality, to some degree, about where we are in the standings,” Mets general manager Brodie Van Wagenen told reporters in mid-July. “We are going to be open-minded, we are going to be thoughtful and measured in terms of what we do as we approach the deadline, all with the eyes on trying to improve this club.”Multiple teams have reportedly inquired about starter Noah Syndergaard while Dominic Smith has been mentioned in trade rumors, as well.last_img read more