Chittenden Corporation (NYSE: CHZ) Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer, Paul A. Perrault,announced third quarter 2003 net income of $0.54 per diluted share,compared to the $0.48 per diluted share earned in the third quarter of 2002.For the first nine months of 2003, earnings were $1.54 per diluted share,compared to $1.41 a year ago. Chittenden also announced its quarterly dividendof $0.20 per share. The dividend will be paid on November 14, 2003, toshareholders of record on October 31, 2003.In making the announcement, Perrault said, “I am extremely pleased withour progress in organizing ourselves to be most responsive to our customers,shareholders, and employees, and with the financial results that we haveachieved at the same time. With our early-summer decision to migrate to a newinformation technology platform, work has begun in earnest to convert all ofour banks by the second quarter of next year. I am pleased to report that weare on schedule to meet that objective. The end result will be greatereffectiveness in serving our customers, enhanced efficiencies in our processesand lower costs associated with providing that service.”On February 28, 2003, Chittenden completed its acquisition of GraniteBank, a $1.1 billion commercial bank headquartered in Keene, NH for $123million in cash and approximately 4.4 million shares of Chittenden stockvalued at $116 million. This transaction was accounted for as a purchase and,accordingly, Granite Bank’s operations are reflected in Chittenden’sconsolidated financial statements from the date of acquisition.Total loans increased $85 million from June 30, 2003, due to increases inmunicipal, commercial real estate and construction loans. The increase inmunicipal loans reflects a seasonal trend, as the second quarter ishistorically the low point for municipal borrowings, coinciding with theborrowers’ fiscal year-ends. Commercial real estate loans increased $50million from June 30th with growth throughout Chittenden’s markets. TheCompany’s residential real estate portfolio declined $43 million due tocontinued heavy prepayments emanating from the decline in long term interestrates which hit their recent lows in the second quarter of 2003. This declinewas substantially offset by growth in construction loans due to the financingof several projects within Chittenden’s commercial customer base, continuing atrend that has been seen for the last several quarters.Total deposits increased $151 million from June 30th to $5.0 billion atSeptember 30, 2003. The increase was driven primarily by higher activity indemand, savings and money market/cash management accounts associated withmunicipal and commercial customers. The Company’s deposit base primarilyconsists of demand, savings and NOW accounts, which comprise 46% of totaldeposits and have an average weighted cost of 0.20%, and money market/cashmanagement accounts which comprise 32% of total deposits and have an averageweighted cost of 0.73%. Borrowings declined $159 million to $240 million atSeptember 30, 2003, primarily as a result of the early redemption of FHLBborrowings and customer repurchase agreements.The operating net interest margin for the third quarter of 2003 was 4.11%compared to 4.14% for the second quarter of 2003. In addition to scheduledamortization of Granite’s purchase accounting adjustments to loans, deposits,and borrowings which reduced net interest income by $900,000, the Companyrecognized accelerated amortization of $1.7 million in the third quarterprimarily due to heavy prepayments on Granite’s residential mortgages. Thenet interest margin for the third quarter, including the accelerated purchaseaccounting amortization, was 3.98%. Net interest income was $54.7 million forthe third quarter of 2003 and $49.7 million for the same period a year ago.The increase was driven by a larger balance sheet, as average-earning assetsincreased $1.1 billion to $5.5 billion in 2003 due primarily to the Graniteacquisition.Net charge-offs as a percentage of average loans were 1 basis point in thethird quarter and 8 basis points in the first nine months of 2003 compared to10 basis points and 20 basis points for the respective periods in 2002. Netcharge-off activity on a year-to-date basis totaled $3.1 million compared with$6.1 million in 2002. Nonperforming assets were $18.0 million at September30, 2003 unchanged from June 30, 2003 and as a percentage of total loansdecreased to 48 basis points compared to 49 basis points a quarter ago and 54basis points for the third quarter of 2002. As a percentage of loans, theallowance for loan losses was 1.57%, which was consistent with the lastseveral quarters.Noninterest income was $25.0 million for the third quarter of 2003 downfrom $29.8 million for the second quarter and up from $13.8 million for thesame period a year ago. The change from the second quarter was primarily dueto fluctuations in securities gains, impairments on mortgage servicing rights,and losses on prepayments of borrowings. Excluding these items, noninterestincome grew approximately $1.6 million on a linked-quarter basis. Gains onsales of loans increased $860,000 from the second quarter of 2003 due to aslightly higher margin on mortgage loans sold and insurance commissions wereup $610,000 primarily due to higher levels of performance based commissions.Compared with the third quarter of a year ago, increases were also seen inservice charges on deposit accounts due to the Granite Bank acquisition, aswell as investment management income, and retail investment services. TheCompany realized $3.3 million of gains on sales of securities compared to $9.7million during the second quarter of 2003 and $6 thousand in the comparablequarter of 2002. Partially offsetting the securities gains recognized in thecurrent quarter were losses of $2.1 million associated with the prepayment ofborrowings. In addition, mortgage servicing income was $2.1 million higher ona linked-quarter basis and $2.2 million higher from the same quarter of 2002due to recoveries recognized in the current quarter associated with the fairvalue of the Company’s serviced loan portfolio, net of continued heavyamortization of those assets. During the third quarter the Company recognizedapproximately $3.3 million in impairment recoveries versus $3.5 million inamortization expense on its mortgage servicing rights.Noninterest expenses decreased $7.4 million from the second quarter of2003 and increased $9.9 million from the third quarter of 2002. The increasein noninterest expenses from the same period a year ago were primarily aresult of the Granite Bank acquisition which contributed approximately $4.0million in salary and benefits expenses, $1.2 million of net occupancy expenseand $1.5 million of other noninterest expenses. The decrease from the secondquarter of 2003 was largely due to $6.8 million in non-recurring chargesaccrued in the second quarter related to the Company’s decision to convert itscore data processing system and lower compensation expense due to reductionsin staffing.Effective income tax rates for 2003 were 35.4% for the third quarter and36.2% year to date compared to 34.7% for both respective periods in 2002. Thehigher effective rates in 2003 are due primarily to a larger proportion of theCompany’s taxable income being generated in New Hampshire. The lowereffective tax rate in the third quarter of 2003 versus year-to-date was due tothe recognition of the settlement of tax assessments by the MassachusettsDepartment of Revenue relating to the taxation of Real Estate InvestmentTrusts. This settlement benefited the current quarter’s provision byapproximately $250,000.The return on average equity was 14.19% for the third quarter of 2003,compared with 13.34% for the second quarter and 15.36% in the same quarter of2002. This decline from a year ago is primarily due to the issuance ofadditional equity in the Granite acquisition. The return on average assetsfor the third quarter of 2003 was 1.32%, flat with the third quarter of 2002and up from 1.26% for the second quarter of 2003.
YWCA Vermont announces that Andrea Rogers, Flynn Performing Arts Center Executive Director will receive the 2009 YWCA Thrive Award. Ms Rogers will be honored at the YWCA Thrive luncheon on Thursday, October 29 for her leadership in the community.YWCA Thrive award recognizes the intrinsic value successful women and girls bring to their communities, workplaces, and the world. This year’s thrive awardee exemplifies this important purpose through her own unique leadership and vision.Rogers was previously the director of prevention for the Vermont Division of Alcohol and Drug Abuse, she ran the University of Vermont Church Street Center, was instrumental in the fundraising required to reopen the Flynn in 1981 after which she served as the capital fund director. In 1983 Rogers became the Flynn s executive director. She is also co-founder of the Discover Jazz Festival. We had so many strong nominations for this award; it was extremely difficult to choose. Andrea rose to the top based on the impact her work has made on the three criteria for the award, stated Sara Blum, YWCA board member and chair of the Thrive Award nomination committee. Our Vermont community is enhanced by Andrea s work, and we re pleased to be able to recognize her for those efforts.Ms. Rogers was one of five finalists. The YWCA Vermont also recognizes and congratulates Amy Judd, Jeanne Lynch, Sandy Baird, and Wanda Heading-Grant for their manifold contributions to building communities where women and girls thrive.The YWCA Thrive luncheon is sponsored by KeyBank, Domtar; Merchants Bank; Chittenden, a division of People s United Bank; Kinney Insurance; SymQuest Group; and Ben & Jerry s.For more information about the award and lunch please visit: www.ywca.org/vermont/thrive(link is external). Seats may also be purchased at the website.About the YWCA VermontChartered in 1919, the YWCA of Vermont is a pro-active membership organization that works in collaboration to offer programs to eliminate racism and provide opportunities for growth, leadership, and power for women and girls of all ages, races, cultures, and creeds. The YWCA of Vermont is an affiliate of the YWCA USA, which works to eliminate racism and empower women. Source: YWCA###
Governor Jim Douglas today announced his full support for both the Future’s Plan concept and the specific recommendations of the Department of Mental Health. The Governor also announced a funding plan that will allow these new facilities to open starting in 2012 and fully close the Vermont State Hospital by 2014. The Governor proposes to appropriate any future extension of enhanced Medicaid matching funds (also known as FMAP) to fulfilling the plans outlined in the Future Group report.“Even in difficult financial times,” said Governor Douglas, “good ideas can move forward and be funded in a fiscally responsible manner. It is fortuitous that the estimated amount of one-time enhanced ARRA funding matches up squarely with the need for one-time funding to build the Futures Plan.”Since 2005, the Futures Group and successive citizen committees, established by the Legislature, have considered alternatives to the physically and functionally obsolete Vermont State Hospital. The Department of Mental Health recommends a community based model that includes a state operated 15-Bed Secure Residential Recovery Program in Waterbury and forty-five (45) new intensive inpatient beds with 12 at Rutland Regional Medical Center and another 33 adjacent to the Veteran’s Administration Hospital in White River Junction in collaboration with Dartmouth Medical School. The estimated design and construction costs of this Plan are $61.4 million.The Future’s Plan is fully consistent with the Future Group’s recommendation that the new model-of-care address the concepts of integration of mental health with general health care, be based on the best practices, and reflect Vermont’s longstanding commitment to community-based care. A full description of the Futures Plan is attached.For months, there has been discussion in Washington about extending enhanced FMAP for six additional months from January 2011 through June 2011. President Obama included this in his recent budget recommendation and the House of Representatives included it in the Jobs bill passed late last year. If approved by Congress, this enhanced funding will bring between $55.5 million and $62 million in one-time ARRA funding to Vermont. The Governor’s FY2011 Recommended Budget did not include this possible funding.In his Budget Address in January, the Governor stated:“I am not counting on additional federal assistance in my budget. But even if new aid does eventually come our way, we must recognize that federal recovery funds will not flow forever, nor should they. We must take responsibility for our own programs and begin to step down our funding levels gradually and responsibly. By starting now the difficult process of realigning human services spending within currently available resources, we will spare programs from devastating cuts when the federal spigot is inevitably turned off.”“Any additional funds from Washington must be used to transition to a more effective, efficient and affordable state government, while investing in one-time efforts to create jobs and grow our tax base.”“By using these enhanced one-time federal funds for a very important one-time human service need serving our most severely mentally ill neighbors, we can move quickly to honor our commitment to the mental health community,” said Governor Douglas. “This approach leaves the State more flexibility to fund important investments through the Capital Bill in future years including information technology improvements and deferred maintenance on state buildings. But most importantly, it means that Vermonters can receive intensive psychiatric care in state-of-the-art community and inpatient programs. ”Source: Governor’s office. 2.18.2010
The American Lung Association released its State of Tobacco Control 2010 report today, which tracks progress on key tobacco control policies at the federal and state level, assigning grades based on whether laws are adequately protecting citizens from the enormous burden caused by tobacco use.This year, the Lung Association applauds the federal government for major advances in protecting citizens from tobacco-caused illnesses but faults most states for lagging behind and failing to enact much-needed laws and policies.Tobacco continues to take a devastating toll. Each year, 443,000 people die from tobacco-related illnesses and secondhand smoke exposure, making tobacco the leading cause of preventable death. In addition, it costs the economy more than $193 billion annually in healthcare costs and lost productivity.”President Obama and our leaders in the 111th Congress enacted what will be regarded as the strongest tobacco control policies thus far in American history,” said Charles D. Connor, American Lung Association President and CEO. “While we still have a long way to go, for the first time, the Administration and the Congress joined forces to squarely confront the tobacco epidemic.””Sadly, most of our states are failing miserably when it comes to combating tobacco-caused disease,” Connor added. “Despite collecting millions of dollars ‘ and in some cases billions ‘ in tobacco settlement dollars and excise taxes, most states are investing only pennies on the dollar to help smokers quit.”It takes combined state and federal resources to reduce tobacco-related disease and death, as the tobacco industry will continue to adapt and engage in deadly deception. In 2010, the tobacco industry used new ways to push its products and target kids in a drive to replace dying customers. These tactics ranged from color-coding packages in order to falsely imply less harmful cigarettes, to pitching smokeless tobacco in order to get more young people hooked and keep current smokers addicted.FEDERAL ACTIONThe American Lung Association recognizes progress made at the federal level to protect people from the dangers of tobacco.The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) began implementing landmark legislation passed in 2009 to restrict tobacco marketing and sales to kids, to end misleading health descriptors and to require larger health warnings on cigarettes and smokeless tobacco products.On a separate front, Congress passed healthcare overhaul legislation in 2010 that greatly expanded benefits for tobacco cessation treatments to help people quit. Most private insurers will now be required to offer quit smoking treatments, and all pregnant women enrolled in Medicaid also have access to these services.In another enormous stride, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services for the first time incorporated both cessation and prevention of tobacco use as a cornerstone of a national strategy to reduce chronic disease and healthcare costs.In this year’s State of Tobacco Control report, the federal government earned a “B” for FDA regulation of tobacco products, with the American Lung Association urging FDA to take aggressive action in regulating the marketing, sales and manufacturing of tobacco products; a “C” for coverage of cessation treatments among major federal health care programs; a “D” for the federal cigarette tax; and a “D” for failure to ratify the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, an international treaty.STATE ACTIONMany states continued to bank on cigarette taxes for new revenues to help balance budgets in hard times, but most failed to invest in programs to help smokers quit and prevent kids from starting.Six states raised cigarette excise taxes in 2010. Higher prices will encourage smokers to try to quit, but most smokers who ended up paying more for a cigarette pack got no additional help from the state to end their addiction to tobacco.Low-income smokers suffer the greatest impact from this disturbing trend because they cannot afford higher cigarette prices and have the most difficulty accessing effective quit smoking treatments.”Most states are ducking the responsibility to help smokers quit,” Connor continued.Forty states and the District of Columbia earned an “F” for funding tobacco prevention and control programs at needed levels, and 37 states earned an “F” for failing to offer comprehensive quit-smoking treatments to Medicaid recipients and state employees as well as make proper investments in state quitlines. Progress in states’ passage of comprehensive laws protecting the public and workers from the dangers of secondhand smoke slowed to almost a standstill. Only one state, Kansas, passed a comprehensive smokefree law.”To finally break tobacco’s grip on America’s health, it takes a harnessing of resources by every state as well as by the federal government,” Connor said. “The annual report card spells out what they’re doing right and where they must work harder to achieve that vision.”Overall Scores ‘ No state earned straight “A’s.” Only Arkansas, Montana, Maine, Oklahoma and Vermont achieved all passing grades, although, Oklahoma barely passed with straight “D’s.” Receiving all “F’s” were Alabama, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia and West Virginia.Tobacco Prevention and Control Programs ‘ Forty states and the District of Columbia earned “F’s” for spending at less than 50 percent of the level recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Alaska and North Dakota alone earned “A” grades for funding tobacco prevention and control programs and achieving the CDC-recommended funding levels.Cessation Treatments ‘ Thirty-seven states earned “F’s” for failing to offer comprehensive tobacco cessation treatments to Medicaid recipients and state workers, and making recommended investments in state quitlines. No state earned an “A” grade.State Cigarette Taxes ‘ Despite a continuing trend toward increased cigarette taxes, only five states qualified for an “A” grade by collecting excise taxes of $2.90 per pack or more.Quitlines ‘ For the first time, the State of Tobacco Control provides a more complete picture of state cessation efforts by including data about quitlines in the state cessation grade. These are free, phone-based programs that provide services to help callers quit tobacco use. All 50 states and the District of Columbia operate a quitline, although the services and treatment provided vary. Quitlines provide a vital aid for smokers who have no other way to get or pay for treatment and they are often dramatically underfunded.Smokefree Air Laws ‘ Kansas was the only state that passed a strong smokefree air law in 2010. Twenty-seven states and the District of Columbia have now passed comprehensive smokefree laws, making public spaces and workplaces smokefree. The pace for passage has declined dramatically since 2006-2007, when 16 states and the District of Columbia met the American Lung Association’s Smokefree Air Challenge.For more information or to download a copy of the report, please visit www.stateoftobaccocontrol.org(link is external).About the American Lung AssociationNow in its second century, the American Lung Association is the leading organization working to save lives by improving lung health and preventing lung disease. With your generous support, the American Lung Association is “Fighting for Air” through research, education and advocacy. For more information about the American Lung Association, a Charity Navigator Four Star Charity and holder of the Better Business Bureau Wise Giving Guide Seal, or to support the work it does, call 1-800-LUNG-USA (1-800-586-4872) or visit www.LungUSA.org(link is external).SOURCE American Lung Association WASHINGTON, Jan. 20, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ —
As an integral part of his economic development program, Gov. Peter Shumlin said today that he plans to present special awards to Vermont businesses that have an effective Workplace Safety program.A commitment to workplace safety not only protects employees, but allows the business community to reap the benefits of reduced costs. Typically companies that maintain a safe workplace experience lower costs for workers’ compensation and medical issues, increased productivity and employee morale, and the ability to market their business more successfully in the global market.‘Vermont businesses that provide safe workplaces for their employees should be recognized for their successful safety policies,’ said Gov. Shumlin.The Governor’s Award for Outstanding Workplace Safety is sponsored by the Vermont Department of Labor, the Vermont Safety & Health Council and the Vermont Small Business Development Center. The awards will be presented at the annual Workplace Safety Conference on May 12 at the Double Tree Inn, South Burlington. Applications can be found on the Vermont Department of Labor website and will be distributed by the department to Vermont businesses.2010 Recipients of the Governor’s Award for Outstanding Workplace Safety:(1) Large Companies: IBM, Essex Junction; Northwestern Counseling & Support Services, St. Albans; Vermont Electric Power Company, Rutland; and Columbia Forest Products, Newport.(2) Small Companies: Addison County Transit Resources, Middlebury; Chaput Family Farm, North Troy; and(3) Special Recognition: Ryegate Associates, East Ryegate; and Long Trail Brewing, Bridgewater Corners.FYI: Award Criteria: More than a dozen applications for this respected award have been received in each of the past two years. This is a self-nomination competition based on key safe workplace factors. (MOD rate of .90 or less, no workplace fatalities or catastrophic injuries for the past 3 years, an active workplace safety committee involving management and employees, and a written workplace safety policy).Source: Governor’s office. 2.8.2011
Senator Bill Doyle today released the results of his 42nd annual town meeting survey. There were 15,000 returns from 142 Vermont towns and cities, one of the largest returns ever. Responders overwhelmingly support a law that would ban cell phone calling while driving, tougher DUI laws and expanding the bottle bill, while slightly more responders to the survey favored keeping the Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant open for another 20 years.Some of the results were as follows: Closest tally VT yankee 45% yes, 41% no, 14% unsureStrongest support were:Ban Cell phones 75%Tougher DUI law 75%Expand bottle deposit 79%Pay more for locally grown foods 63%Require use of motorcycle helmets 90%Below are the full results.Senator Bill DoyleTown Meeting Day Survey – March 201115,000 returns from 142 Vermont Towns and Cities in PercentageQuestionYesNoNot Sure1) Should Vermont Yankee’s license be renewed in 2012?4541142) Should drivers be prohibited from using cell phones while driving?751963) Should Vermont legalize physician-assisted suicide?5037134) Should Vermont have a four-year term for governor?6128115) Should there be a mandatory minimum sentence for repeat DUI offenders791296) Should Vermonters be required to buy health insurance?3150197) Do you have confidence in Governor Shumlin?4330278) Should Vermont continue to require the use of motorcycle helmets?90829) Should law enforcement personnel be permitted to use tasers?56242010) Should Vermont legislature encourage bicycling and walking?71181111) Should Vermont’s bottle deposit law be expanded to include all bottled beverages?7914712) Are you willing to pay more for locally-grown food?63261113) In order to encourage wind, solar and other renewable energy sources, are you willing to pay higher prices?453916