Panel juggles money to help Vermont company
By DAVE GRAM
THE Associated Press | September 12,2013
MONTPELIER — A special Vermont state panel that can take budget actions when lawmakers aren’t in session Wednesday approved a plan to use $5.5 million in state funds to help a St. Albans manufacturer expand.
The Emergency Board voted unanimously to move the money temporarily from the state corrections budget to provide financing for a project to aid Mylan Technologies in its plan to expand in downtown St. Albans.
Lawmakers are expected to approve the shift, and then find other money to restore the corrections budget, as they work through a mid-fiscal-year budget adjustment bill after they return in January.
The plan is to allow Mylan, a maker of skin patches that deliver generic medications, to expand into the St. Albans state office building. The state, in turn, would move its roughly 200 workers to new quarters in downtown St. Albans by late next year.
“We have a very exciting renaissance going on in St. Albans,” Gov. Peter Shumlin said as he began the meeting of the Emergency Board, a panel that includes him and the four chairs of the House and Senate budget and tax committees. “I’m really excited about the projects going on up there.”
Lawrence Miller, secretary of commerce and community development, provided a report from an economics firm indicating Mylan was expected to add about 100 jobs as it expands. The current state office building is across Houghton Street in St. Albans from the Mylan campus.
“They’re stretched at the seams on their lot,” Miller said. “By buying the state office building they’ll be able to move folks out of their existing space and put new manufacturing lines in their existing space quickly.”
Calls to Mylan, based in Somerset, Penn., and Morgantown, W.Va., were not immediately returned Wednesday.
Miller said the state workers would be moved into new space being developed by ReAarch Co. of South Burlington. He said the sale of the existing state office building to Mylan is scheduled to close by Nov. 15, but the state would lease back the space for about a year, while their new quarters are being prepared.
“That way they only have to move once,” Miller said.
The Nov. 15 closing is needed to make the project eligible for $3 million in federal tax credits to help defray its total $12.5 million cost.
Economic and Policy Resources Inc., which consulted on planning for the St. Albans project, produced the estimate of 100 new jobs. It said other benefits of the project would be a new parking garage in St. Albans to accommodate the state workers at their new location as well as visitors to the city, and street design changes to improve traffic flow.