$800,000 In State Grants Available For Planning Projects

first_img$800,000 In State Grants Available For Planning ProjectsMunicipal Grants Program Now Administered Entirely OnlineMONTPELIER, Vt. – The state is making more than $800,000 in grants available to communities across the state for municipal planning and other special projects.Officials at the Vermont Department of Housing and Community Affairs (DHCA) announced the Municipal Planning Grants of up to $15,000, which can be used for a variety of planning projects.”These grants help Vermont’s cities and towns craft plans that promote economic and housing development in our downtowns and village centers, while protecting Vermont’s working landscape from sprawl,” said Kevin Dorn, Secretary of Commerce and Community Development, whose agency includes DHCA.Through a competitive process, towns can be awarded grants for such traditional planning activities as updating town plans, maps and zoning bylaws.As part of Governor Jim Douglas’ E-State Initiative, these grants will now be applied for, approved, and administered completely on-line.”This is an excellent example of how we can use technology to be more efficient in state government,” Douglas said. “By eliminating the paper involved in applying for and administering grants, we make the process faster, less costly, and less time-consuming.”The Municipal and Regional Planning Fund was first established in 1988 and funds technical assistance for town planning, zoning bylaws, implementation of town plans, encouragement of citizen participation and education, and innovative demonstration planning projects.Municipalities may apply for any amount up to $15,000 or $25,000 for multi-town “consortia” projects. Funds for the municipal planning grants are allocated by the Vermont Legislature from revenue generated by the property transfer tax.With no local matching funds required, this is one of the few state grant programs accessible to even the smallest of Vermont municipalities. Communities have 18 months to complete their planning projects.The application deadline for this program is October 31, 2008. The Municipal Planning Grant site went live on September 2nd, and can be accessed at: www.dhca.state.vt.us/Planning/MPG.htm(link is external)last_img read more

Job counts up slightly in October, jobless rate unchanged at 5.2%

first_imgJob counts up slightly in October, jobless rate unchanged at 5.2%Montpelier (November 21, 2008) — The Vermont Department of Labor announced today that the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for October 2008 was 5.2% percent, unchanged from the revised September rate and up 1.3 points from a year ago.”Though our employment and job numbers looked relatively good in October we believe that the impact is temporary,” said Patricia Moulton Powden, Commissioner of the Vermont Department of Labor. “The increases we saw in seasonally adjusted employment and jobs may have been due to our surveys capturing a favorable foliage season. Never-the-less we welcome the stability in our unemployment rate in an environment where our national rate grew four-tenths of a point.”Job GrowthBefore seasonal adjustment, Total Non-Farm jobs grew by 2,000 or 0.6% from September to October. Despite this growth, Total Non-Farm jobs remains down by 0.3%, or about 900 jobs, over the year. The largest monthly gainers in October were Local Education (+1,750 or 7.6%), Retail Trade (+500 or 1.3%) and Accommodations (+400 or 4.3%). On an annual basis Healthcare & Social Assistance is the only sector showing significant job growth (+950 or 2.1%). The Manufacturing and Construction sectors have contracted by 750 and 950 jobs respectively over the year.When seasonally adjusted, job levels increased by 500 or 0.2% over September, but still lag a year ago by 900 or -0.3%. Leisure & Hospitality was primarily responsible for the job gain over the month, (+800 jobs or 2.5%). We believe this to be a temporary phenomenon caused by our sample capturing the impact of a favorable foliage season whereas in most years it does not.Employment GrowthVermont’s observed seasonally adjusted monthly changes in labor force and employment were statistically significant and greater than September values, but unemployment levels and rates were not. For comparison purposes, the US seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for August was 6.5 percent, up four-tenths of a point form September 2008. Unemployment rates for Vermont’s 17 labor market areas ranged from 2.8 percent in Hartford to 6.2 percent in Newport. Local labor market area unemployment rates are not seasonally adjusted. For comparison, the unadjusted unemployment rate for Vermont was 4.6 percent, down three-tenths of a point from September 2008 and up 1.3 points from a year ago.last_img read more

Increased security presence at nearly 150 railway stations from Virginia to Vermont

first_imgAmtrak Office of Security Strategy and Special Operations (OSSSO), Amtrak Police, Transportation Security Administration (TSA) personnel and officers from approximately 100 commuter rail, state, and local police agencies mobilized today for the largest joint, simultaneous Northeast rail security operation of its kind, involving 150 railway stations between Fredericksburg, Virginia, and Essex Junction, Vermont.The morning rush-hour multi-force security deployment was NOT in response to any particular threat or incident, but rather a demonstration of an ongoing collaborative effort to expand counter-terrorism and incident response capabilities up and down the Northeast Corridor railway system. Approximately 750,000 rail passengers ride along the Northeast Corridor and other rail systems integrated with the Corridor each day.Over the past few years, terrorist attacks, attempts and plots around the globe have specifically targeted rail and mass transit. The security implications of this activity in the United States, particularly in the region with the greatest concentration of users of public transportation, have spurred the formation of a strong coalition of transportation and law enforcement agencies in the Northeast Corridor area.”We are one team, with one mission, and that is to protect rail and mass transit passengers, patrons and employees from harm, manmade or otherwise,” said Amtrak Police Chief John O’Connor. “Without question, this operation provided the longest wall of security ever mobilized along the East Coast. We had hundreds of law enforcement officers across 13 states and Washington, D.C., report to duty as one force this morning, and that is our greatest strength.”The operation enabled TSA and law enforcement officials to further familiarize themselves with their local train stations and rail environment, while establishing a highly visible police and security presence. Amtrak Mobile Team security personnel and TSA agents were deployed to designated locations along the Northeast Corridor area to conduct security activities, including the use of explosive trace detection devices during random passenger bag inspections.Additionally, TSA’s Visible Intermodal Prevention and Response Teams or VIPR Teams, were mobilized at undisclosed locations to enhance security activities through the use of specialized detection technologies that identify anomalies considered suspicious. The main focus of VIPR operations is to deploy TSA resources to augment local security capabilities and facilitate deterrence through coordinated actions with local transportation entities and law enforcement.”It is critical that we continue to expand and exercise our collective ability to respond to a terrorist threat or incident,” said John Sammon, TSA assistant administrator, Transportation Sector Network Management (TSNM). “Today’s event offers the opportunity to demonstrate in dramatic fashion the force potential and security enhancement value of regional collaboration as TSA joins its professional colleagues throughout the Northeast to increase familiarization with the local stations and provide a highly visible security presence during rush hour.”Amtrak and TSA said similar unannounced exercises will occur in the future along the Northeast Corridor area as well as in other parts of our nation’s rail system as part of an enhanced security strategy. Today’s exercise will be reviewed and used as a method to evaluate personnel and resources required to respond to any future threats or incidents within the railway system.Today’s operation encompassed rail stations in 13 states, including Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Vermont, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware, Virginia, and West Virginia as well as the District of Columbia. Source: TSA. 9.8.2009last_img read more

VEDA announces April 15 for federal stimulus bond applications

first_imgThe Vermont Economic Development Authority (VEDA) is inviting eligible and qualified borrowers to apply for an allocation of Vermont s $135 million in Recovery Zone Facility Bond (RZFB) tax-exempt bond issuance capacity.  The next round of applications is due at VEDA s offices on April 15, 2010. This special tax-exempt bond financing is only available through the end of 2010, said VEDA Chief Executive Officer Jo Bradley.  Financing a project with tax-exempt bonds enables borrowers to make needed investments at the lowest possible cost, and so the Authority is eager to commit all of the funding Vermont has been allocated.   Thus far, VEDA has committed approximately $30 million of Vermont s special tax-exempt bonding capacity.The RZFB Program was created by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (a.k.a. the Stimulus Act), enacted by Congress in 2009.  All of Vermont has been designated a Recovery Zone by Governor James Douglas, so eligible and qualified projects may be located anywhere in the state.  A qualified business is any trade or business (including some non-profits), except those engaged in the rental of residential property and certain other prohibited facilities such as golf courses, country clubs, gambling facilities and liquor stores.The RZFB Program allows borrowers the opportunity to avail themselves of tax-exempt, and consequently lower cost, financing for many types of assets.  Project funds may be used for the acquisition of machinery and equipment, the construction of new facilities, and in some cases, the purchase and renovation of existing real estate. Projects should total at least $2 million to make this type of financing cost effective for borrowers. Refinancing and working capital are not eligible uses.All applications for RZFB financing must be reviewed and approved by the VEDA Board.  This review is a two step process.  First, preliminary approval (Inducement) must be granted before any significant project expenditures are incurred.  VEDA Staff will review all applications received by April 15th, and the most qualified applicants will have their proposals presented to the VEDA Board for Inducement approval at the May Board Meeting. VEDA acts as a conduit issuer for RZFBs, and neither VEDA nor the State of Vermont guarantees payment of the RZFBs.  The ability to sell these bonds is based solely on the creditworthiness of the borrower.  Borrowing terms such as interest rate, amortization, collateral and required equity contribution are negotiated on a case-by-case basis between the borrower and the bond purchaser.  Successful applicants who receive RZFB Inducements in response to VEDA s solicitation for applications will have their bond issuance allocation reserved through August 15, 2010.  Project financings that have not received Final Approval and been closed by then will have to apply to VEDA for an extension, which, at VEDA s discretion, may or may not be granted.Recovery Zone Facility Bond inducement applications may be downloaded from the VEDA website (www.veda.org/RZFB(link is external) ), or obtained from VEDA s office by calling (802) 828-5627.  For more information about the program, businesses may contact any of VEDA s Commercial Loan Officers at (802) 828-5627.VEDA s mission is to promote economic prosperity in Vermont by providing financial assistance to eligible businesses, including manufacturing, agricultural, and travel and tourism enterprises.  Since its inception in 1974, VEDA has made financing commitments totaling over $1.5 billion. Source: VEDA 3.11.2010last_img read more

FairPoint surpasses broadband milestone of 80 percent coverage

first_imgConsolidated Communications,FairPoint Communications has met ‘ and surpassed ‘ another key broadband milestone in Vermont.FairPoint pledged to make broadband available to 80 percent of its customers by the end of 2010 and as of Oct. 31, the company has bested that commitment, said Michael K. Smith, FairPoint state president for Vermont.‘We’re at 80.5 percent and we still have two months to go in 2010,’ Smith said. ‘I don’t know of any other provider in Vermont who has done more to expand broadband for Vermonters than FairPoint. We’ve increased high-speed Internet from 66 percent in 2008 to now more than 80 percent.’In 2010, FairPoint has turned up more homes and businesses in Highgate, Thetford, Peru, Williston, Stockbridge, Westford and Marlboro, with additional communities scheduled to come online before year’s end, Smith said.FairPoint will be continuing to add broadband as it meets its commitment to provide total broadband coverage to half of its exchanges in 2011, with 95 percent completed by June 30 and the remaining 5 percent to be built on demand within 90 days.‘We’re building it as fast as we can and we won’t stop until we’ve reached all of our statewide commitments, which are aggressive, unprecedented and self-financed,’ said Smith.About FairPointFairPoint Communications, Inc. is an industry leading provider of communications services to communities across the country. Today, FairPoint owns and operates local exchange companies in 18 states offering advanced communications with a personal touch, including local and long distance voice, data, Internet, television and broadband services. Learn more at www.FairPoint.com(link is external). ### Source: SOUTH BURLINGTON, Vt. (November 4, 2010) ‘ FairPoint Communicationslast_img read more

Compostable products company settles deceptive packaging claims

first_imgAttorney General, September 27, 2011 Penley Corporation, based in West Paris, Maine, has agreed to settle claims by Vermont Attorney General William H. Sorrell that the company violated the state’s Consumer Fraud Act by misrepresenting the availability of local composting options for its Full Circle line of ‘compostable’ cutlery. The settlement requires Penley to pay $10,000 to the State of Vermont in penalties and costs, and another $10,000 to the Northeast Organic Farming Association of Vermont (NOFA Vermont) to support its Harvest Health Coupon Program.Commenting on the settlement, Attorney General Sorrell said that Vermonters care about responsible disposal, including the compostability, of consumer products, and need to be able to rely on sellers’ claims about how those products may be disposed of. ‘If most Vermonters can’t compost an item in the state, then advertising the item as ‘compostable’ is deceptive,’ he said.Starting in June 2007, Penley marketed a ‘Full Circle’ line of cutlery that was capable of being composted in a professionally managed municipal or commercial facility. The Full Circle packaging bore prominent references to compostability, including the term ‘compostable!’ in sizable red type in two places, and a boxed Biodegradable Plastics Institute/US Composting Council logo next to a third, capitalized, ‘COMPOSTABLE.’In fact, there are few municipal or commercial facilities in Vermont that accept compostable cutlery, and most Vermonters have not had, and do not have, practical access to such facilities. And while the Full Circle cutlery packaging did state that municipal or commercial composting facilities ‘may not exist in your community. Check to see if they do.,’ this disclosure was printed in an almost unreadably small five-point typeface on the back of the package.It is estimated that retail sales of Full Circle cutlery in Vermont totaled between 7,920 and 13,776 boxes, for which local consumers paid a total of between $10,216 and $17,771. Penley’s settlement with the Attorney General’s Office prohibits the company from representing to the public, directly or by implication, the compostability of any products sold in or into Vermont unless (a) there are municipal or commercial facilities reasonably and practically available to a substantial majority of Vermont consumers, which facilities accept those products for composting; or (b) there is a prominent disclosure on the product packaging of the absence of such facilities that is proximate to the compostability claim and is no smaller or less visible than the claim itself.Penley’s payment to NOFA Vermont will support a program that offers matching coupons as an incentive to 3SquaresVT (formerly Food Stamp) recipients to buy healthy, farm-fresh foods at over 30 local farmers’ markets. last_img read more

Casella reports Q2 increase in revenues

first_img CASELLA WASTE SYSTEMS, INC. AND SUBSIDIARIES CONDENSED CONSOLIDATED BALANCE SHEETS (In thousands) October 31, April 30, ASSETS 2011 2011 ————— —————CURRENT ASSETS: Cash and cash equivalents $ 4,421 $ 1,817 Restricted cash 76 76 Accounts receivable – trade, net of allowance for doubtful accounts 56,984 54,914 Other current assets 14,989 15,598 ————— —————Total current assets 76,470 72,405Property, plant and equipment, net of accumulated depreciation 461,359 453,361Goodwill 101,329 101,204Intangible assets, net 2,468 2,455Restricted assets 403 334Notes receivable – related party/employee 720 1,297Investments in unconsolidated entities 34,906 38,263Other non-current assets 20,285 21,262 ————— —————Total assets $ 697,940 $ 690,581 =============== =============== LIABILITIES AND STOCKHOLDERS’ EQUITY CURRENT LIABILITIES: Current maturities of long-term debt and capital leases $ 1,297 $ 1,217 Current maturities of financing lease obligations 327 316 Accounts payable 51,758 42,499 Other accrued liabilities 41,047 39,889 ————— —————Total current liabilities 94,429 83,921Long-term debt and capital leases, less current maturities 461,915 461,418Financing lease obligations, less current maturities 1,989 2,156Other long-term liabilities 47,012 49,099 Total Casella Waste Systems, Inc. and Subsidiaries stockholders’ equity 91,325 93,987 Noncontrolling interest 1,270 – ————— —————Total stockholders’ equity 92,595 93,987Total liabilities and stockholders’ equity $ 697,940 $ 690,581 =============== =============== Solid Waste Internalization Rates by Region: Three Months Ended Six Months Ended October 31, October 31, ——————– ——————– 2011 2010 2011 2010 ——— ——— ——— ———Eastern region 59.7% 54.9% 56.9% 52.8%Western region 77.0% 75.1% 76.6% 75.7%Solid waste internalization 68.9% 66.1% 67.3% 65.1% CASELLA WASTE SYSTEMS, INC. AND SUBSIDIARIES CONDENSED CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF OPERATIONS (In thousands, except amounts per share) Three Months Ended Six Months Ended ———————— ———————— October 31, October 31, October 31, October 31, 2011 2010 2011 2010 ———– ———– ———– ———– Revenues $ 129,866 $ 122,895 $ 257,059 $ 244,887 Operating expenses: Cost of operations 86,627 79,313 171,851 160,652 General and administration 16,062 15,696 32,268 31,613 Depreciation and amortization 15,061 15,620 29,567 31,203 Legal settlement 359 – 1,359 – Development project charge 131 – 131 – Gain on sale of assets – – – (3,502) ———– ———– ———– ———– 118,240 110,629 235,176 219,966 ———– ———– ———– ———– Operating income 11,626 12,266 21,883 24,921 Other expense/(income), net: Interest expense, net 11,207 11,619 22,357 23,384 Loss from equity method investments 1,523 506 3,781 2,638 Other income (327) (317) (432) (412) ———– ———– ———– ———– 12,403 11,808 25,706 25,610 ———– ———– ———– ———– (Loss) income from continuing operations before income taxes and discontinued operations (777) 458 (3,823) (689)Provision for income taxes 67 281 728 1,060 ———– ———– ———– ———– (Loss) income from continuing operations before discontinued operations (844) 177 (4,551) (1,749)Discontinued operations: Loss from discontinued operations, net of income taxes (1) – (767) – (1,692) Gain (loss) on disposal of discontinued operations, net of income taxes (1) 79 (564) 725 (615) ———– ———– ———– ———– Net loss attributable to common stockholders $ (765) $ (1,154) $ (3,826) $ (4,056) =========== =========== =========== =========== Common stock and common stock equivalent shares outstanding, assuming full dilution 26,759 26,788 26,661 25,981 =========== =========== =========== =========== Net loss per common share attributable to common stockholders $ (0.03) $ (0.04) $ (0.14) $ (0.16) =========== =========== =========== =========== Adjusted EBITDA (2) $ 30,532 $ 30,804 $ 59,194 $ 58,577 =========== =========== =========== =========== Following is a reconciliation of Adjusted EBITDA to Net Loss Attributable to Common Stockholders: Three Months Ended Six Months Ended ———————— ———————— October 31, October 31, October 31, October 31, 2011 2010 2011 2010 ———– ———– ———– ———– Net Loss Attributable to Common Stockholders $ (765) $ (1,154) $ (3,826) $ (4,056) Loss from discontinued operations, net of income taxes – 767 – 1,692 (Gain) loss on disposal of discontinued operations, net of income taxes (79) 564 (725) 615 Provision for income taxes 67 281 728 1,060 Interest expense, net 11,207 11,619 22,357 23,384 Depreciation and amortization 15,061 15,620 29,567 31,203 Other expense, net 1,196 189 3,349 2,226 Legal settlement 359 – 1,359 – Development project charge 131 – 131 – Gain on sale of assets – – – (3,502) Depletion of landfill operating lease obligations 2,484 2,107 4,514 4,299 Interest accretion on landfill and environmental remediation liabilities 871 811 1,740 1,656 ———– ———– ———– ———–Adjusted EBITDA (2) $ 30,532 $ 30,804 $ 59,194 $ 58,577 =========== =========== =========== =========== Revenues between $475.0 million and $487.0 million.Adjusted EBITDA* between $105.0 million and $110.0 million.Free Cash Flow* between $2.0 million and $7.0 million.*Non-GAAP Financial MeasuresIn addition to disclosing financial results prepared in accordance with Generally Accepted Accounting Principles in the United States (GAAP), the company also discloses earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization, adjusted for accretion, depletion of landfill operating lease obligations, gain on sale of assets, development project charge write-off, as well as legal settlement charge (Adjusted EBITDA) which is a non-GAAP measure. The company also discloses Free Cash Flow, which is defined as net cash provided by operating activities, less capital expenditures, less payments on landfill operating leases, less assets acquired through financing leases, plus proceeds from the sales of assets and property and equipment, which is a non-GAAP measure. Adjusted EBITDA is reconciled to net income (loss), while Free Cash Flow is reconciled to Net Cash Provided by Operating Activities.The company presents Adjusted EBITDA and Free Cash Flow because it considers them important supplemental measures of its performance and believes they are frequently used by securities analysts, investors and other interested parties in the evaluation of the company’s results. Management uses these non-GAAP measures to further understand the company’s “core operating performance.” The company believes its “core operating performance” represents its on-going performance in the ordinary course of operations. The company believes that providing Adjusted EBITDA and Free Cash Flow to investors, in addition to corresponding income statement and cash flow statement measures, affords investors the benefit of viewing its performance using the same financial metrics that the management team uses in making many key decisions and understanding how the core business and its results of operations may look in the future. The company further believes that providing this information allows it s investors greater transparency and a better understanding of its core financial performance. In addition, the instruments governing the company’s indebtedness use EBITDA (with additional adjustments) to measure its compliance with covenants such as interest coverage, leverage and debt incurrence.Non-GAAP financial measures are not in accordance with, or an alternative for, GAAP Adjusted EBITDA and Free Cash Flow should not be considered in isolation from or as a substitute for financial information presented in accordance with GAAP, and may be different from Adjusted EBITDA or Free Cash Flow presented by other companies.About Casella Waste Systems, Inc.Casella Waste Systems, Inc., headquartered in Rutland, Vermont, provides solid waste management services consisting of collection, transfer, disposal, and recycling services in the northeastern United States. For further information, contact Ned Coletta, vice president of finance and investor relations at (802) 772-2239, or Ed Johnson, chief financial officer at (802) 772-2241, or visit the company’s website at http://www.casella.com(link is external).Conference call to discuss quarterThe Company will host a conference call to discuss these results on Thursday, December 1, 2011 at 10:00 a.m. ET. Individuals interested in participating in the call should dial (877) 548-9590 or (720) 545-0037 at least 10 minutes before start time. The call will also be webcast; to listen, participants should visit Casella Waste Systems’ website at http://ir.casella.com(link is external) and follow the appropriate link to the webcast. A replay of the call will be available on the company’s website, or by calling (855) 859-2056 or (404) 537-3406 (Conference ID 22675023) until 11:59 p.m. ET on Thursday, December 8, 2011.Safe Harbor StatementCertain matters discussed in this press release are “forward-looking statements” intended to qualify for the safe harbors from liability established by the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These forward-looking statements can generally be identified as such by the context of the statements, including words such as “believe,” “expect,” “anticipate,” “plan,” “may,” “will,” “would,” “intend,” “estimate,” “guidance” and other similar expressions, whether in the negative or affirmative. These forward-looking statements are based on current expectations, estimates, forecasts and projections about the industry and markets in which we operate and management’s beliefs and assumptions. We cannot guarantee that we actually will achieve the plans, intentions, expectations or guidance disclosed in the forward-looking statements made. Such forward-looking statements, and all phases of our operations, involve a number of risks and uncertainties, any one or more of which cou ld cause actual results to differ materially from those described in our forward-looking statements. Such risks and uncertainties include or relate to, among other things: current economic conditions that have adversely affected and may continue to adversely affect our revenues and our operating margin; we may be unable to reduce costs or increase pricing or volumes sufficiently to achieve estimated Adjusted EBITDA and other targets; landfill operations and permit status may be affected by factors outside our control; we may be required to incur capital expenditures in excess of our estimates; fluctuations in the commodity pricing of our recyclables may make it more difficult for us to predict our results of operations or meet our estimates; and we may incur environmental charges or asset impairments in the future. There are a number of other important risks and uncertainties that could cause our actual results to differ materially from those indicated by such forward-lookin g statements. These additional risks and uncertainties include, without limitation, those detailed in Item 1A, “Risk Factors” in our Form 10-K for the year ended April 30, 2011.We undertake no obligation to update publicly any forward-looking statements whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except as required by law. CASELLA WASTE SYSTEMS, INC. AND SUBSIDIARIES SUPPLEMENTAL DATA TABLES (Unaudited) (In thousands) Amounts of our total revenues attributable to services provided for the three and six months ended October 31, 2011 and 2010 are as follows: Three Months Ended October 31, ———————————————– % of Total % of Total 2011 Revenue 2010 Revenue ———– ———- ———– ———-Collection $ 54,764 42.2% $ 52,058 42.4%Disposal 31,104 24.0% 31,075 25.3%Power generation 6,340 4.9% 6,273 5.1%Processing and organics 13,992 10.8% 12,972 10.6% ———– ———- ———– ———- Solid waste operations 106,200 81.9% 102,378 83.4%Major accounts 9,847 7.5% 10,140 8.2%Recycling 13,819 10.6% 10,377 8.4% ———– ———- ———– ———-Total revenues $ 129,866 100.0% $ 122,895 100.0% =========== ========== =========== ========== Six Months Ended October 31, ———————————————– % of Total % of Total 2011 Revenue 2010 Revenue ———– ———- ———– ———-Collection $ 108,390 42.2% $ 104,560 42.7%Disposal 60,422 23.5% 60,630 24.8%Power generation 12,237 4.8% 11,986 4.9%Processing and organics 28,730 11.2% 26,220 10.7% ———– ———- ———– ———- Solid waste operations 209,779 81.7% 203,396 83.1%Major accounts 20,557 7.9% 20,540 8.3%Recycling 26,723 10.4% 20,951 8.6% ———– ———- ———– ———-Total revenues $ 257,059 100.0% $ 244,887 100.0% =========== ========== =========== ========== Casella Waste Systems Inc,Casella Waste Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ: CWST), a regional vertically-integrated solid waste, recycling and resource management services company, has reported financial results for its second quarter fiscal year 2012, and provided updated guidance for its 2012 fiscal year.Highlights for the quarter included: Revenue growth of 5.7 percent over the same quarter last year.Overall solid waste pricing growth of 1.6 percent was primarily driven by strong collection pricing growth of 3.4 percent as a percentage of collection revenues.Adjusted EBITDA* was $30.5 million for the quarter, down $0.3 million from same quarter last year.Free cash flow* was $6.0 million for the quarter and $3.4 million year-to-date.Company reaffirms Revenue, Adjusted EBITDA and Free Cash Flow guidance ranges for fiscal year 2012.For the quarter ended October 31, 2011, revenues were $129.9 million, up $7.0 million or 5.7 percent from the same quarter last year. Operating income was $11.6 million for the quarter, down $0.7 million from the same quarter last year. Excluding the non-recurring $0.4 million legal settlement charge and the $0.1 million development project charge in the current quarter, operating income was down $0.2 million from the same quarter last year.The company’s net loss attributable to common shareholders was ($0.8) million, or ($0.03) per common share for the quarter, compared to a net loss of ($1.2) million, or ($0.04) per share for the same quarter last year.”We continued to make great progress during the second quarter improving the fundamentals of our core business,” said John W. Casella, chairman and CEO of Casella Waste Systems. “Collection price was up 3.4 percent from the same quarter last year, a big improvement from the muted pricing we realized last year. The strong pricing is a reflection of the hard work by our divisional teams to move pricing from an annual event to a core process, their efforts to intelligently manage yield in their markets through the use of the customer profitability analytics, and our constant drive to create value for our customers through resource solutions.””We are also driving increased collection volumes through our ability to differentiate our service offerings with resource solutions, such as Zero-Sort® Recycling, and our heightened focus on customer care,” Casella said. “In spite of the stagnant economic environment, MSW and C&D landfill volumes were up for the quarter, while historically lumpy special waste volumes were down this quarter at most of our sites.””In late August and early September, the Northeast was hit with two major storms, Irene and Lee, that destroyed local roads and bridges and devastated hundreds of homes and businesses,” Casella said. “Our people were prepared for the storms, and with their foresight we avoided major damage to our facilities and equipment. In fact, we were able to get our customer care center operational and our trucks running the day after the storms to meet the needs of our customers and our communities. As a result of the storm clean-up, we realized higher roll-off pulls and landfill volumes at several sites; however much of this benefit was offset by increased operating costs due to the storms.”Fiscal 2012 OutlookThe company reaffirmed its fiscal year guidance in the following categories: Following is a reconciliation of Free Cash Flow to Net Cash Provided by Operating Activities: Three Months Ended Six Months Ended ———————— ———————— October 31, October 31, October 31, October 31, 2011 2010 2011 2010 ———– ———– ———– ———–Net Cash Provided by Operating Activities $ 27,538 $ 22,793 $ 41,478 $ 34,156Capital expenditures (21,102) (15,902) (35,970) (30,769)Payments on landfill operating lease contracts (1,456) (1,461) (3,314) (2,250)Proceeds from sale of assets and property and equipment 971 247 1,170 8,088 ———– ———– ———– ———–Free Cash Flow (2) $ 5,951 $ 5,677 $ 3,364 $ 9,225 =========== =========== =========== =========== Components of Growth and Maintenance Capital Expenditures (1): Three Months Ended Six Months Ended October 31, October 31, ——————— ——————— 2011 2010 2011 2010 ———- ———- ———- ———-Growth capital expenditures: Landfill development $ 203 $ – $ 244 $ 227 Landfill gas to energy project 792 – 1,159 – MRF equipment upgrades 2,498 – 3,007 – Other 1,774 108 2,000 763 ———- ———- ———- ———-Total Growth Capital Expenditures 5,267 108 6,410 990 ———- ———- ———- ———-Maintenance capital expenditures: Vehicles, machinery / equipment and containers $ 3,901 $ 3,930 $ 10,341 $ 10,332 Landfill construction & equipment 9,907 10,778 16,904 17,830 Facilities 1,815 976 1,990 1,148 Other 212 110 325 469 ———- ———- ———- ———-Total Maintenance Capital Expenditures 15,835 15,794 29,560 29,779 ———- ———- ———- ———-Total Capital Expenditures $ 21,102 $ 15,902 $ 35,970 $ 30,769 ========== ========== ========== ==========(1) Our capital expenditures are broadly defined as pertaining to eithergrowth or maintenance activities. Growth capital expenditures are definedas costs related to development of new airspace, permit expansions, and newrecycling contracts along with incremental costs of equipment andinfrastructure added to further such activities. Growth capitalexpenditures include the cost of equipment added directly as a result of newbusiness as well as expenditures associated with increasing infrastructureto increase throughput at transfer stations and recycling facilities.Maintenance capital expenditures are defined as landfill cell constructioncosts not related to expansion airspace, costs for normal permit renewals,and replacement costs for equipment due to age or obsolescence.   RUTLAND, VT–(Marketwire – November 30, 2011) CASELLA WASTE SYSTEMS, INC. AND SUBSIDIARIES CONDENSED CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF CASH FLOWS (In thousands) Six Months Ended ——————————– October 31, October 31, 2011 2010 ————— —————Cash Flows from Operating Activities:Net loss attributable to common stockholders $ (3,826) $ (4,056)Loss from discontinued operations, net of income taxes – 1,692(Gain) loss on disposal of discontinued operations, net of income taxes (725) 615Adjustments to reconcile net loss to net cashprovided by operating activities – Gain on sale of assets – (3,502) Gain on sale of property and equipment (754) (302) Depreciation and amortization 29,567 31,203 Depletion of landfill operating lease obligations 4,514 4,299 Interest accretion on landfill and environmental remediation liabilities 1,740 1,656 Development project charge 131 – Amortization of premium on senior subordinated notes – (386) Amortization of discount on term loan and second lien notes 467 450 Loss from equity method investments 3,781 2,638 Stock-based compensation 1,366 1,347 Excess tax benefit on the vesting of share based awards (219) (117) Deferred income taxes 1,008 1,185 Changes in assets and liabilities, net of effects of acquisitions and divestitures 4,428 (2,566) ————— ————— 46,029 35,905 ————— ————— Net Cash Provided by Operating Activities 41,478 34,156 ————— —————Cash Flows from Investing Activities: Acquisitions, net of cash acquired (715) – Additions to property, plant and equipment – growth (6,410) (990) – maintenance (29,560) (29,779) Payments on landfill operating lease contracts (3,314) (2,250) Proceeds from sale of assets – 7,533 Proceeds from sale of property and equipment 1,170 555 Investments in unconsolidated entities (935) – ————— ————— Net Cash Used In Investing Activities (39,764) (24,931) ————— —————Cash Flows from Financing Activities: Proceeds from long-term borrowings 82,100 76,900 Principal payments on long-term debt (82,146) (83,966) Payments of financing costs (184) (357) Proceeds from exercise of share based awards 176 160 Excess tax benefit on the vesting of share based awards 219 117 ————— ————— Net Cash Provided By (Used In) Financing Activities 165 (7,146) ————— —————Cash Provided By (Used In) Discontinued Operations 725 (70) ————— —————Net increase in cash and cash equivalents 2,604 2,009Cash and cash equivalents, beginning of period 1,817 2,035 ————— —————Cash and cash equivalents, end of period $ 4,421 $ 4,044 =============== =============== Supplemental Disclosures:Cash interest $ 20,531 $ 21,344Cash income taxes, net of refunds $ 5,281 $ 117 CASELLA WASTE SYSTEMS, INC. AND SUBSIDIARIES SUPPLEMENTAL DATA TABLES (Unaudited) (In thousands) GreenFiber Financial Statistics – as reported (1): Three Months Ended Six Months Ended October 31, October 31, ———————- ———————- 2011 2010 2011 2010 ———- ———- ———- ———-Revenues $ 21,841 $ 20,581 $ 37,856 $ 38,018Net loss (3,049) (1,012) (7,564) (5,276)Cash flow used in operations (949) (3,414) (2,258) (3,038)Net working capital changes (149) (4,856) 726 (2,692)Adjusted EBITDA $ (800) $ 1,442 $ (2,984) $ (346)As a percentage of revenues: Net loss -14.0% -4.9% -20.0% -13.9%Adjusted EBITDA -3.7% 7.0% -7.9% -0.9%(1) We hold a 50% interest in US Green Fiber, LLC (“GreenFiber”), a jointventure that manufactures, markets and sells cellulose insulation made fromrecycled fiber. CASELLA WASTE SYSTEMS, INC. AND SUBSIDIARIES NOTES TO CONDENSED CONSOLIDATED FINANCIAL STATEMENTS (In thousands) Note 1: Discontinued OperationsOn January 23, 2011, we entered into a purchase and sale agreement and related agreements to sell non-integrated recycling assets and select intellectual property assets to a new company (the “Purchaser”) formed by Pegasus Capital Advisors, L.P. and Intersection LLC for $130,400 in gross proceeds. Pursuant to these agreements, we divested non-integrated recycling assets located outside our core operating regions of New York, Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine and northern Pennsylvania, including 17 Material Recovery Facilities (“MRFs”), one transfer station and certain related intellectual property assets. Following the transaction, we retained four integrated MRFs located in our core operating regions. As a part of the disposition, we also entered into a ten-year commodities marketing agreement with the Purchaser to market 100% of the tonnage from three of our remaining integrated MRFs.We completed the transaction on March 1, 2011 for $134,195 in gross cash proceeds. This included an estimated $3,795 working capital and other purchase price adjustment, which was subject to further adjustment, as defined in the purchase and sale agreement. The final working capital adjustment, along with additional legal expenses related to the transaction, of $646 was recorded to gain (loss) on disposal of discontinued operations, net of income taxes in the first quarter of fiscal year 2012.In the three months ended October 31, 2011, we recorded an additional working capital adjustment of $79 to gain (loss) on disposal of discontinued operations, net of income taxes, which related to our subsequent collection of receivable balances that were released to us for collection by the Purchaser.During the third quarter of fiscal year 2011, we also completed the sale of the assets of the Trilogy Glass business for cash proceeds of $1,840.The operating results of these operations, which relate only to prior fiscal year periods, have been reclassified from continuing to discontinued operations in the accompanying unaudited condensed consolidated financial statements. Revenues and loss before income tax provision attributable to discontinued operations for the three and six months ended October 31, 2010 were $18,114, ($767), $35,693, and ($1,692), respectively.We allocate interest expense to discontinued operations. We have also eliminated certain immaterial inter-company activity associated with discontinued operations.Note 2: Non – GAAP Financial MeasuresIn addition to disclosing financial results prepared in accordance with Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP), we also disclose earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization, adjusted for accretion, depletion of landfill operating lease obligations, gain on sale of assets, development project charge write-off, as well as legal settlement charges (Adjusted EBITDA) which is a non-GAAP measure. We also disclose Free Cash Flow, which is defined as net cash provided by operating activities, less capital expenditures, less payments on landfill operating leases, less assets acquired through financing leases, plus proceeds from the sale of assets and property and equipment, which is a non-GAAP measure. Adjusted EBITDA is reconciled to net income (loss), while Free Cash Flow is reconciled to Net Cash Provided by Operating Activities.We present Adjusted EBITDA and Free Cash Flow because we consider them important supplemental measures of our performance and believe they are frequently used by securities analysts, investors and other interested parties in the evaluation of our results. Management uses these non-GAAP measures to further understand our “core operating performance.” We believe our “core operating performance” represents our on-going performance in the ordinary course of operations. We believe that providing Adjusted EBITDA and Free Cash Flow to investors, in addition to corresponding income statement and cash flow statement measures, provides investors the benefit of viewing our performance using the same financial metrics that the management team uses in making many key decisions and understanding how the core business and its results of operations may look in the future. We further believe that providing this information allows our investors greater transparency and a better understanding o f our core financial performance. In addition, the instruments governing our indebtedness use EBITDA (with additional adjustments) to measure our compliance with covenants such as interest coverage, leverage and debt incurrence.Non-GAAP financial measures are not in accordance with, or an alternative for, GAAP in the U.S. Adjusted EBITDA and Free Cash Flow should not be considered in isolation from or as a substitute for financial information presented in accordance with GAAP in the U.S., and may be different from Adjusted EBITDA or Free Cash Flow presented by other companies. Components of revenue growth for the three months ended October 31, 2011 compared to the three months ended October 31, 2010 are as follows: % of % of Solid Related Waste % of Total Amount Business Operations Company ———– ———- ———- ———-Solid Waste Operations:Collection $ 1,783 3.4% 1.7% 1.5%Disposal (240) -0.8% -0.2% -0.2%Power operations 102 1.6% 0.1% 0.1%Processing and organics – 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% ———– ———- ———-Solid Waste Yield 1,645 1.6% 1.4%Volume (211) -0.2% -0.2%Commodity price & volume 1,063 1.0% 0.9%Acquisitions & divestitures 1,329 1.3% 1.1%Closed landfill (4) 0.0% 0.0% ———– ———- ———-Total Solid Waste 3,822 3.7% 3.2% ———– ========== ========== Major Accounts (293) -0.2% ———– ———- Recycling Operations: % of Recycling Operations ———-Commodity price 3,749 36.1% 3.1%Commodity volume (307) -2.9% -0.2% ———– ———- ———-Total Recycling 3,442 33.2% 2.9% ———– ========== ========== Total Company $ 6,971 5.7% =========== ==========last_img read more

Nothing Left to Give – Table Rock 50+ Mile Race Report

first_imgWill Harlan (l) and Mark Lundblad (r) congratulate each other following the Table Rock 50 Mile.I set up an ambitious ultra running schedule this Fall. I wanted to meet some personal challenges and once again I tried something new. In the past 6 weeks I’ve put forth 170 miles of ultra distance race effort and I’m looking forward to hibernating for a bit this Winter.The culmination of my somewhat overzealous schedule was this past weekend at the Table Rock 50 Mile race here in WNC. The main reason I stuck with doing this race was because it promised to be a scenic, mountainous (8k of climb) and close to home. This race was also brand new and I knew the terrain and much of the course topography. Leading up to race day I internally went back and forth over whether to still do the race or maybe drop to the 50k distance that was offered. However in the end, the lure of running to the top of Table Rock Mountain got the best of me and I was fit so I stuck to my original intention of the full advertised 54 miles.I checked out the entrants list leading up to race day and felt fairly confident about my chances but one never knows what race day will bring. Usually it comes in the form of someone much younger than me who is really fast and they are stepping up to race ultras for the first time. I was secretly hoping that I would not have to dig too deep on this day as I knew I was racing on somewhat tired legs.Race morning brought chilly but nice running weather. It looked like it would be an enjoyable and peaceful run around the Linville Gorge Wilderness area. However, I still had this feeling like something was not right and I was definitely not wishing for anything remotely epic to occur for this race. From the start I got out front and slowly got a decent lead as we ascended up one of the many big climbs on the course. At mile 14 there is a spur out and back to Wiseman’s View and I hit my watch at the turn to see what kind of lead I had on my competitors. Sure enough that weird feeling I had at the start came to fruition as I rounded a turn, there was my good friend and beast of a runner Will Harlan. So my three minute lead seemed like three seconds and I knew it was game on.How I missed him at the start I’ll never know. Will does not race very often but when he does he is always ready to wreak havoc on the field. He also rarely talks about his racing plans and tends to show up at races at the last minute throwing a big monkey wrench into anyone’s hopes and dreams.After coming to grips with reality I kept pushing as best as I could. Somewhere around 2.5 hours of running (mile 19) the course comes off the mountainous gravel road and onto some mountainous roads. I felt awful and was hoping this was just one of those low points. I kept waiting for Will to pass me. I was actually hoping he would soon just so it could be over with. It is funny how your mind thinks when you are dog tired and being tracked down. I kept pushing forward never quite getting that second wind and just wondering when he would make his presence known. Somehow I managed to stay out front to the top of Table Rock Mountain (mile 34). A most scenic place but unfortunately I had no time or desire to take in the vistas. This would be my second chance to see if I had any lead left. Sure enough not too long after I headed back down the mountain Will was right there again about three minutes back. As I passed him I said “please take me out of my misery and take over the lead”. It truly felt inevitable but still I stayed in the lead for the long seven mile section down the mountain. At mile 42 you hit the last long stretch of twelve miles on hilly paved roads. As I approached the aid station finally Will showed up as if out of nowhere in stealth mode and we both refilled bottles and took off. I managed to get out in front of him and again started building a lead. I never felt sure of anything even with just a few miles to go and a 3 or so minute lead. I was hurting so bad and digging so deep that I was just hoping a car would run me over. That would be the easy way out. My legs were tying up, I was eating gels, popping S-caps, drinking coke, doing anything and everything possible to get to the finish line. Actually winning was never a solid thought as I knew from past races with Will that it was not over.I ran transfixed on the pavement in front of me as for looking around or any extra motion felt like too much. My heart was still in this race but my legs were not cooperating. Every big hill took one more notch out of my dwindling energy. On the last big hill before the somewhat flat 2.5 mile finish I was down to intermittent power walking and something that might have resembled running. I looked back in fear and sure enough I was being reeled in. The hook was solidly set in my gills and I was being yanked into Will’s boat.I soon could hear footsteps around mile fifty-two. I stuck my hand out to my side without looking to give Will his congratulatory five and he motored on past me. Normally I’m game for a fast finish and giving chase. The problem here was I had already done that, I had nothing left to give. I wanted to try and make a race out of it and not have it come to such a goofy looking shuffle the last mile. However that is what happens sometimes, I had to accept it. Overall I was pleased with the race as I gave 100% and never gave up which is all we can ever expect of ourselves. Having to take second place to my good friend is really not a bad thing. In hindsight tough competition makes the outcome win or lose that much more fulfilling. However I think Will should look into a second career as an undercover spy to go along with being a great ultrarunner and writer.last_img read more

Tinker Cliffs

first_imgPhoto courtesy of staff at Wilderness AdventureAppalachia Outposts: Tinker CliffsVirginia has a wide assortment of backyard activities. From climbing to caving and everything in between, keeping busy outside in Virginia is not a hard thing to do. So with a little time off, and a thirst for adventure, a small group of friends and myself got in the vehicle, took a short ride, and checked out one of the many scenic branches of the Appalachian Trail: Tinker Cliffs.Hiking Tinker CliffsPhoto courtesy of staff at Wilderness AdventureLocated in Catawba (near Daleville) and off of Virginia 779, the Andy Layne Trail head is located right off the road. Starting the scenic 2.8-mile hike to the top is a couple of creek crossings, open cow pastures (watch your step!), and many well-maintained trails. The trails are all in good conditions as you push further on, but the grade quickly becomes steeper. And at times, you question to yourself, “Why am I climbing this mountain?”Tinker Cliffs SummitPhoto courtesy of staff at Wilderness AdventureThe answer soon becomes clear as you reach the summit. The glorious views provided by Tinker Cliffs will take your breath away, make you appreciate hiking, and will simply amaze you. 1,700 feet above ground level gives you a bird’s eye view as you navigate across the cliffs and have a good time, definitely a must-do Virginia backyard activity.Go, get out and explore, and most of all, have a good time with it.-BradView Larger Maplast_img read more

Trail Mix: Bryan Sutton’s Bluegrass Licks

first_imgIt’s hard to imagine Bryan Sutton – easily the hottest bluegrass guitar player in the game today – feeling the need to come into his own.Sutton has toured with the likes of Bela Fleck and Chris Thile, been named the International Bluegrass Music Association’s guitar player of the year six times, produced a Grammy nominated record this year for Della Mae, has won three Grammys of his own – two during his time with Ricky Skaggs & Kentucky Thunder and one for a rendition of “Whiskey Before Breakfast” (with the iconic guitar player who happens to be the answer to the trivia question below) – and is one of the most in-demand sessions players in Nashville.What else did Sutton have to prove?  Nothing really, except to make the record that only he could make.  That record is Into My Own, which releases on Sugar Hill Records on April 29.  Sutton has stepped up his game both as a songwriter and a vocalist, and his new record is his most well-rounded to date.As always, Sutton is joined by some of the hottest pickers in bluegrass.  Sam Bush, Noam Pikelny, Stuart Duncan, Ronnie McCoury, Luke Bulla, and many others all lend their talents to this tight collection of bluegrass tunes.Trail Mix recently caught up with Bryan Sutton to chat guitars, bluegrass pickers, and that one guy he couldn’t believe he found himself on stage with.BRO – What’s your guitar of choice these days?BS – I’m fortunate to have some good options with guitars.  I tend to let the gig or general need define what guitar I’ll use.  I’ve been using a 1948 Martin D-28 for the last few years for most of the shows and sessions I’ve done.  This guitar feels extremely natural to me.  For Hot Rize shows, I enjoy playing Charles Sawtelle’s old 1937 D-28.  For most recording sessions, I take a pile of guitars.BRO – You are spending more and more time in front of a microphone these days.  Can you describe the challenge in growing your confidence as a singer?BS – The challenge for me as a singer has been trying to improve while doing.  Lots of times, my best opportunities for real “practice” are in front of hundreds of people.  Sort of trial by fire, I guess.  I’m also surrounded by great singers who are supportive and have made me feel a little more competent and confident.BRO – We are featuring “Log Jam” on this month’s Trail Mix.  What’s the story behind the song?BS – I experienced a pretty cool and short period of time where I wrote most of the instrumentals for this new record.  “Log Jam” came out of this time.  I came up with this little pattern at the top that I liked and I could recognize a groove, but the sense of a down beat was vague.  It built from there and revealed itself as a kind of blues jam turned on its head.BRO – Who is your favorite bluegrass picker?BS – Don’t make me answer that.  Without being an over-generalizer, I really recognize and honor certain individual strengths and contributions my favorite players have made and continue to make.  That being said, it’s hard to overlook Tony Rice for his personal influence on me as a player and the kind of mark he’s made in bluegrass guitar playing in general.  I don’t have a favorite ice cream flavor, ether.BRO – Have you ever met a bluegrass lick that’s gotten the best of you?BS – There’s this Kenny Baker phrase that most notably comes from his interpretation of “Muleskinner Blues.”  I can do it, but it seems to not flow the way I should when I try it in context.BRO – Finish and elaborate, please: “Holy shit.  I can’t believe I am on stage with . . .”BS –  Jack Black.  I worked on this record with this jazz bassist, Charlie Haden.  Jack is his son-in-law, and we did the Opry a few years ago.  We played a fast tune with a bunch of solos and Jack would fly around the stage like a wild man, dancing and carrying on.  It was a hoot.Our North Carolina friends can catch Bryan Sutton on the road with David Holt and T. Michael Coleman at Merlefest on April 24th, at the Tryon Fine Arts Center in Tryon on May 9th, and at the High Point Theater in High Point on May 10th.  Sutton returns to the stage with Hot Rize at Del Fest in Cumberland, Maryland, on May 23rd.  For all of our Elevation Outdoors readers in Colorado, Bryan will be part of the Telluride House Band in June and will be in Lyons for both the Rockygrass Academy and a Hot Rize concert in July.For more information on Bryan Sutton, when he might be heading to a stage near you, or how to get a copy of Into My Own, surf over to www.bryansutton.com.In the meantime, Trail Mix would like to give you a shot at getting your hands on Bryan’s new record a few days early!  Take a shot at the trivia question below.  Email your answers to dave@blueridgeoutdoors.com.  A winner will be chosen from all of the correct answers received by noon on Thursday, April 17.Question . . . . Bryan won a Grammy award in 2007 for his performance with what legendary acoustic bluegrass/mountain blues guitar player and patriarch of Merlefest?last_img read more