BREAKING: City secures refinancing for Burlington Telecom | News | Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice

Please support our work!

Donate  Advertise

BREAKING: City secures refinancing for Burlington Telecom 

Published November 13, 2009 at 5:45 p.m.

Usually politicians save their 4 p.m. Friday press conferences for bad news. But this fire has burned unchecked for long enough.

Burlington Mayor Bob Kiss announced late this afternoon that the city received a financing proposal this week for Burlington Telecom (BT) to satisfy its current debt of $33 million, as well as the $17.4 million borrowed but never repaid from the city's pooled cash account. This "letter of engagement," from the Minneapolis-based financial firm Piper Jaffray & Co., is currently under discussion by the Board of Finance, and further discussion will most likely be the main event at Monday night's City Council meeting.

"BT's ability to meet its current debt obligations is an indication of its strength as an enterprise," Kiss told a room full of reporters late Friday. "It also confirms that the use of pooled cash has not been, and is not, an increased risk to the taxpayers of Burlington."

As Shay Totten first reported in late September, Chief Administrative Officer Jonathan Leopold floated the fledgling municipal telecom company a $17.4 million loan without the express written consent of the city council. Leopold fully expected the money would be repaid by outside investors within 60 days, he said later. But as the global economy tanked, those deep pockets never materialized, and Leopold came under fire from city councilors and the Department of Public Service for never fully disclosing the loan.

Got something to say? Send a letter to the editor and we'll publish your feedback in print!

Tags: ,

More By This Author

About The Author

Ken Picard

Ken Picard

Ken Picard has been a Seven Days staff writer since 2002. He has won numerous awards for his work, including the Vermont Press Association's 2005 Mavis Doyle award, a general excellence prize for reporters.

Comments (12)

Showing 1-10 of 12


Comments are closed.

From 2014-2020, Seven Days allowed readers to comment on all stories posted on our website. While we've appreciated the suggestions and insights, right now Seven Days is prioritizing our core mission — producing high-quality, responsible local journalism — over moderating online debates between readers.

To criticize, correct or praise our reporting, please send us a letter to the editor or send us a tip. We’ll check it out and report the results.

Online comments may return when we have better tech tools for managing them. Thanks for reading.

Latest in News

Keep up with us Seven Days a week!

Sign up for our fun and informative

All content © 2024 Da Capo Publishing, Inc. 255 So. Champlain St. Ste. 5, Burlington, VT 05401

Advertising Policy  |  Privacy Policy  |  Contact Us  |  About Us  |  Help
Website powered by Foundation