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Shumlin listens to local business operators

RUTLAND - A group of Rutland-area business owners and operators traveled to Montpelier last Tuesday as part of a local newspaper-sponsored junket to the Golden Dome. The aim of the trip was to discuss concerns over Rutland's-and Vermont's-high cost of doing business with the governor and legislators.

The attendees, owners and managers of business large and small in the Rutland area, came prepared with questions and ideas. Gov. Peter Shumlin listened and spoke with the local business delegation. Among the concerns of business leaders was the idea of an increase in state sales taxes as well as worry over rising energy costs, especially in light of the governor's steadfast anti-Vermont Yankee stance. The governor would like to see the power plant close in 2012 or 2013.

Several of Vermont's most prominent business leaders have voiced support of the Vernon-based power station.

Shumlin noted that he would like to see more business activity in Rutland County. He cited support of a natural gas pipeline running from Burlington to Bennington-with a dog-leg to the Omya Inc. calcium-carbonate processing plant in Florence.

The governor also supports an high-speed rail corridor through Rutland County although the funds appear to be lacking and Amtrak already operates at a huge loss.

Plant Manager Pierre Masuy of Omya, Inc. told the governor that he believes Vermont is unfriendly to business. He would like to see a change in state-business relations with the state becoming more business friendly.

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