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By JOHN DILLON VERMONT PUBLIC RADIO
[...] Springfield Democrat Al-ice Emmons is chairwoman of the House Institutions Committee. She said the legislation will improve the state’s infrastructure and provide needed employment for the construction trades. She said her committee scoured the capital budget to find money that had not yet been spent or was left over from earlier projects.
“We have found $5.6 million, almost $5.7 million to put back into our state economy. Those dollars were lying fallow,” she said. “They were not being used. And now they will be used in our economy to employ our contractors, our builders, our electricians and our plumbers.”
The $70 million in Irene projects includes replacing the flooded state hospital, rebuilding the Waterbury complex and new offices for state workers at the National Life building in Montpelier.
The total cost for the Waterbury offices is expected to be around $125 million. The 2014-2015 spending plan sets aside $56 million for Waterbury, and lawmakers expect all but $6 million or so of the difference will come from insurance payments and the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
Rep. Willem Jewett, DRipton, said the Water-bury piece represents the state’s commitment to the town and the region.
“The Waterbury complex is not just about bricks and mortar. That’s about keeping faith with the people of Waterbury, about returning workers to the town of Waterbury — and that’s important,” he said. [...]