The 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 3.11.2010
Gbanepea Gold Mine at the time of the disaster in February this year There is an emerging confusion over the status of Gbanepea Gold Mine where, in February this year, about 40 miners were trampled to death, while carrying on illicit mining activities. The fatal incident drew national attention, causing the Government of Liberia several days later to deploy troops of the Armed Forces of Liberia (AFL) to secure the area and undertake rescue operations.But, report reaching the Daily Observer Nimba Bureau suggests that a strange mining company has currently taken over the concession area to carry on gold mining, effective after the raining season.The coming of the new company is said to be causing confusion among the members of the Nimba Legislative Caucus, with one of them claiming that the agreement that brought the company is bogus and did not meet the consent of the entire caucus.Rep. Larry Younquoi, in a recent interview with local journalists in Nimba, said the social agreement that brought in the new concession company was done without the consent of the entire caucus as it were in the case of ArcelorMittal or Cocopa.Rep. Younquoi argued that any agreement regarding concession should be meet the consent of all citizens of the county. Where the process from the concession to go to the county account as done in the case of ArcelorMittal, Cocopa and others concession company around the country to be included in the county budget.Prior to the disaster that killed about 40 miners in Gbanepea in February, there was an agreement reached by the citizens of the mining community and a group of miners known as Sackor and Kartee Mining Company (SAKAMICO).The very day this company and the community reached the agreement, some group of miners rushed to the mining site to make one last effort to scavenge for gold. Sadly, about 40 or them were trampled to death.After the February mine disaster, the mining site was taken over by the Armed forces of Liberia to keep eye on the concession to prevent any further illicit mining.With the coming of this new mining group, under the banner Universal Forestry Corporation (UFC), confusion is emerging among the caucus over how the concession was reached.When contacted, the Statutory Superintendent of Tappita District, Mr. Aubrey Wehye, confirmed the coming of the new company, but said they came with their legal mining documents from the Ministry of Mines and Energy.He said the community only asked to carry on some social responsibilities, among them, feeder roads, building of palava huts, toilet facilities, hand pumps and among others.“We are not bigger than the government. If there is anything the lawmakers [are] not satisfied with, they should contact the Ministry of Mines and Energy or the central government. But, we local officials, are there to protect the government’s interests, especially where there are legal documents.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
…urges Govt to monitor rising water levels at EDWCopposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo on Friday visited Central Georgetown after the City was hard-hit by high levels of floodwaters caused by torrential rain. Jagdeo walked through the City and empathised with vendors and business persons who complained bitterly about the drainage system.Given the proximity of Christmas and the sloth of the economy, the business community was up in arms about the lack of preparedness for the rainy season, pointing out that already minimum sales will come to a halt. Some persons lamented to the Opposition Leader the fact that there was enough time for City Hall and Government to prepare for the eventuality of flooding.Meanwhile on Friday evening, the Opposition Leader’s Office said that reports from an initial “on the ground” assessment on the effects of heavy rain that occurred over a 12-hour period on Friday, has been made available to the Opposition Leader.There has been flooding in residential and agricultural areas of Regions Two (Pomeroon-Supenaam), Three (Essequibo Islands-West Demerara), Four (Demerara-Mahaica), Five (Mahaica-Berbice) and Six (East Berbice-Corentyne).Jagdeo also expressed concern over the widespread flooding in Georgetown, with many homes and businesses severely affected.Coastal villages such as Lima, sections of Henrietta and Hampton Court, Capoey, Land of Plenty in Region Two; Canals Polder, Region Three; and residential and agricultural areas of Anns Grove/Two Friends, Cane Grove, Good Hope, Mon Repos, Lusignan and Foulis within Region Four are also affected by flood waters.Giving an assessment from reports out of the regions, the Opposition Leader stated that in Region Five, several communities are severely affected and some farmers in have reported damage to cash crops and livestock.The affected areas include: Blairmont; Rosignal; Bel Air and Woodlands Farm; Number Seven Back Street; Bath Woodley Park; Bush Lot; Number 28 and Number 29 Villages; Hopetown, Seafield/Tempie; and Profit/Rising Sun.In Region 6: New Amsterdam; Number 52 to 74 residential villages; Rose Hall; and several villages along Central Corentyne are affected.Jagdeo is calling on Government to implement every measure necessary to bring immediate relief to those affected, by ensuring that steps are taken to minimize damages and losses to property, livestock and agricultural crops.He is also urging the Government to pay special attention to the rising water levels in the East Demerara Water Conservancy (EDWC), which is reported to be above 57 GD level, as well as the Boerasirie Conservancy.He said that the Mahaica and Mahaicony Creeks, Pomeroon River and other inland areas, should also receive attention, since backwater flows can result in downstream flooding, which is the predominant trend in riverine areas.The Opposition Leader noted that the defective sluices and silted outfall channels in drainage polders such as Capoey, Coizer, Three Friends, Letter Kenny and Borlam must be urgently addressed and operationalized, as well as those on East Coast Demerara, Georgetown, and other areas, as necessary.Meanwhile, the City was at a standstill as persons were seen taking shelter in buildings, while some stores had to be closed because of the climbing floodwaters.