Here we go again!

To the Editor:

The HUD Special Purpose Grant to establish a revolving loan fund in Caledonia county for both Lyndon and St. Johnsbury was all so well intended through the work of Senator Patrick Leahy. Once established the Loan Fund was intended to augment existing federal, state, regional, local, public and private lending resources. The operations manual was clear:

III - Criteria for Lending:

1) The honesty and integrity of the borrower to be without question. 4) The borrower must be unable to obtain adequate financing at reasonable rates and terms from private sources or other federal, state or local programs.

Purpose and objectives -- especially important to start-up companies which require assistance.

Requirements of Borrowers: 5) The borrower shall obtain and incur the expenses of Key Life on principals and/or employees deemed critical to the business. 6) Evidence of insurance must be provided annually.

Records were not to be cut and pasted and other significant deficiencies should not through good management practices, have been allowed to pile up to the point of a well sought after investigation.

The lack of oversight from the top down caused what could have been a wonderful economic development resource over the long term become only a collapse of funding.

To Mr. Impey, the investigation was not about a witch hunt -- and to Mr. Ruggles I say, persecution was not part of the agenda. In reality, prudent management requires municipal government to establish procedures, that shall allow effective and timely decision making, based on (actual financial activity). There is blameworthiness and maybe room for more when it comes to Jay-Lyn and how it was all handled. Hopefully, people on the inside and out, all learned from the results.

It is with regret and deep disappointment to many, that something so well intended for the greater good of the region, could end up this way.

Nancy Cohen

St. Johnsbury, Vt.


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