Vermont briefs

State panel to review cost-capping proposal for pipeline

A state panel plans to review a proposal that caps ratepayer costs for a proposed natural gas pipeline through western Vermont.

The review will cover a deal announced last month between Vermont Gas Systems Inc. and the state Public Service Department that limits the cost of the project to ratepayers at $134 million. The Public Service Board plans to open public hearings into the agreement.

Earlier this year, Vermont Gas said the price tag for the Addison County Natural Gas Pipeline had gone from $86 million to nearly $154 million.

The pipeline would extend the Vermont Gas transmission network 41 miles south from Colchester to Middlebury. It's intended to provide natural gas to more than 3,000 new customers.

3 Vermont towns approve plan to consolidate districts

Three Vermont towns have approved a plan to consolidate their school districts under a new state law.

Residents in Essex, Essex Junction and Westford voted in favor of the district merger on Tuesday. The towns had rejected a merger plan in 2007.

Act 46 provides tax incentives to districts that consolidate with a goal of saving money through efficiencies and providing equal education to students across a district.

Supporters have projected cost savings of about $1 million by reducing overhead and high school tuition costs in the district.

Computer chip plant gets $55M capital investment

Officials say the Vermont computer chip manufacturing plant now owned by GlobalFoundries has received a $55 million capital infusion that is increasing plant output by 15 percent.

Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin and officials with GlobalFoundries announced the changes Wednesday at the Essex Junction facility.

The changes include the conversion of more than 50 temporary jobs into permanent positions.

The "Uplift" project that was carried out this year added new and upgraded equipment at the plant that is used to make computer chips.

The GlobalFoundries plant makes electronic components that can be found in many consumer electronic devices.

GlobalFoundries announced in July that it had completed its purchase of IBM's microchip plants in Vermont and New York.

Police: Man with tractor seen ramming into ATM, flees

Police in the Vermont town of Rutland are looking for a man on a tractor who was seen ramming into an ATM, then fleeing the vehicle as it was running.

Police said the night deposit box and Green Mountain Credit Union building were extensively damaged early Wednesday.

The tractor traveled behind some apartments and then stopped when it struck a large tree near a building.

The man was described as white, about 5-foot-8 wearing a light-colored hooded sweatshirt and light-colored pants.

Pending charges are unlawful mischief of a building and attempted theft.

– The Associated Press


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