Montpelier, VT – The Vermont Economic Development Authority (VEDA) has approved $17.8 million in commercial, agricultural, small business and energy development financing to support projects totaling almost $35 million throughout the state.
“Exciting investments in manufacturing, renewable energy, agricultural and a number of other economic development initiatives will go forward with VEDA’s help,” said Jo Bradley, VEDA Chief Executive Officer. “Jobs will be created for Vermonters, and VEDA is pleased to play a part in that employment growth.”
Among the nearly $12.6 million in direct loans and bond financings approved by VEDA:
- Final approval for issuance of $8,500,000 in tax-exempt bonds to help the Roman Catholic Diocese of Burlington, Vermont, Inc. substantially renovate and modernize RICE MEMORIAL HIGH SCHOOL in South Burlington. Open to all students regardless of religion, Rice Memorial High School teaches approximately 400 students in grades 9 through 12, and employs 54.5 teachers and other staff. Constructed in 1959, the school has had few substantive improvements since then, and now needs substantial renovation to continue serving its education mission while meeting new accessibility, fire and safety requirements, and reducing energy usage. It is estimated total project costs will total over $13 million, and TD Bank is expected to purchase the bonds. It is projected that employment at the school will increase to 61 positions within three years of the project.
- CABOT HOSIERY MILL, INC., Northfield - An $848,860 loan from VEDA will help the Cabot Hosiery Mill of Northfield buy 35 new knitting machines, creels and electric vacuum systems for installation in the company’s Northfield plant. The need for the new equipment is driven by strong demand for the company’s proprietary line of socks, Darn Tough Vermont, which has seen sales grow to over $15 million since introduction. VEDA has joined in the financing with the People’s United Bank, which is a major funder of the project. Currently there are 125 workers at the Mill. At the end of three years, this number is projected to grow by 14 for a total of 139. Cabot Hosiery is family-owned and has been operating in Northfield since 1978.
- SMUGGLERS NOTCH RESORT, Jeffersonville - A $1.1 million loan from VEDA will partially fund the construction of a water pipeline that will allow Smugglers Notch Resort in Jeffersonville to expand its snowmaking capacity. The Union Bank is a major lending partner in the project. The pipeline will run five miles to the Resort’s property, allowing water to be drawn directly from the Lamoille River to enhance snowmaking capacity. Currently, the Resort has snowmaking capability to cover 60 percent of its trails using the Brewster River and tributaries as the primary water supply. The new pipeline will facilitate an increase in coverage to 80 percent, and increase conservation flows at existing withdrawals. Founded as a ski area in 1956, the Resort is a self-contained, independently-owned world-class multi-seasonal village resort complex, abutting Stowe and the Mount Mansfield State Forest. Occupying 3,327 acres, the Resort is well known for its summer activities, quality skiing and other winter activities. Smugglers’ is renowned as a family-centered resort and its extensive award-winning children’s programs. The resort currently employs 529 people, a number expected to grow to 568 within three years of the project.
- EDSON HILL MANOR, Stowe - VEDA has approved $1.2 million in financing for the purchase and renovation cost of the well-known Edson Hill Manor in Stowe. The Community National Bank is funding a significant portion of the project and private capital is also being invested. Currently, Edson Hill employs nine employees; within three years, this number is expected to double. Edson Hill Manor consists of a 24-room inn located on 50 acres of land just off the Mountain Road in Stowe. The property has a large main building with a 60-seat restaurant, a tavern, parlor, and two scenic outdoor patios. There is a large tent site for weddings and events, and the property also contains a pool, stables, paddocks, and a cross-country touring center for use by its guests.
- 3 LEMNAH DRIVE LLC, St. Albans - VEDA approved $180,000 as partial financing for CDL USA’s expansion of its maple sugaring equipment distribution and service headquarters for the entire U.S. market. Community National Bank is also providing financing for the project. CDL USA’s real estate holding company, 3 Lemnah Drive, will purchase the land and building at 2 Lemnah Drive, which CDL has been leasing for the past two years. The company already owns the property at 3 Lemnah Drive, and the new property will provide CDL with the additional warehouse and assembly space it needs to grow. CDL is a well-established company with a reputation for distributing maple sugaring equipment with the highest performance standards in the industry. The company has a presence in every state that produces maple syrup, and the St. Albans location serves as their US corporate headquarters. CDL currently employs eighteen people at the St. Albans plant; within three years of the project, that number is expected to increase to 23.
Financing approved through the Authority’s Commercial Energy Loan Program:
- SOLARSENSE, LLC and its wholly-owned subsidiary VASS VII, Bristol - VEDA approved $853,000 in commercial energy financing for SolarSense, LLC's special purpose project company, VASS VII, LLC as part of a $2.1 million project providing permanent financing for a 500KW, net metered solar array. The project facility will be constructed by AllEarth Renewables on leased land in Bristol, Vermont. SolarSense will purchase the project facility from AllEarth Renewables after construction, just prior to turning on the connection to the Green Mountain Power electric network. The system is expected to produce over 900,000 kWh’s of renewable electricity annually and help the electric system avoid emitting 528 tons of carbon dioxide each year. SolarSense has entered into a Net Metering Agreement with Wake Robin Continuing Care Facility in Shelburne, allowing Wake Robin to source approximately 28% of its annual power from the solar power system and modestly reduce its electric bills.
In addition, VEDA approved:
- $2.4 million in financing through the Authority’s VT 504 Loan Program throughwhich Small Business Administration-approved SBA 504 loans are made;
- More than $1.3 million in financing through the Authority’s agricultural loan program, the Vermont Agricultural Credit Corporation (VACC);
- $292,000 through its Small Business Loan Program, which assists growing Vermont small businesses that are unable to access adequate sources of conventional financing; and
- $339,787 through its Drinking Water State Revolving Loan Fund, which provides funds to repair or improve existing privately-owned drinking water systems.
The Vermont Economic Development Authority (VEDA) is Vermont’s statewide economic development finance lender. Now in its 40th year of operations, VEDA was created by the General Assembly in 1974 with a mission “to contribute to the creation and retention of quality jobs in Vermont by providing loans and other financial support to eligible and qualified Vermont industrial, commercial and agricultural enterprises.”
Over the years, VEDA has grown and adapted its financing programs to keep pace with an ever-changing economy. VEDA offers a wide range of low-cost lending options for Vermont businesses and farms of all sizes, and the Authority’s lending solutions are customized to each borrower’s individual needs. Whether in the form of direct loans, tax-exempt bond issuance or loan guarantee support, VEDA’s innovative financing programs help ensure that Vermont businesses and farms have the capital they need to grow and succeed. VEDA most often lends in conjunction with banks and other financing partners, helping to stimulate economic development activity in Vermont.
Since 1974, VEDA has provided over $2.0 billion in financing assistance to thousands of eligible Vermont entrepreneurs, manufacturers, small businesses, family farms, and agricultural enterprises, helping them to realize their business growth goals, create jobs, and enhance the vitality of Vermont’s economy. For more information about VEDA, visit www.veda.org or call 802-828-JOBS.