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YCQM - Lt. Gov. Phil Scott - Oct. 9, 2011 - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

YCQM - Lt. Gov. Phil Scott - Oct. 9, 2011

October 9, 2011 -- Lt. Gov. Phil Scott, R-Vermont, joins Kristin Carlson and Darren Perron to discuss flood recovery efforts.

>>> GOOD MORNING, EVERYONE, I'M DARREN PERRON.

>> AND I'M KRISTIN CARLSON. WE HAVE LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR PHIL SCOTT.

>> THANK YOU FOR JOINING US. WE SHOULD FIRST POINT OUT THAT YOU ARE NOW ACTING GOVERNOR BUT THE GOVERNOR SHUMLIN IS OUT OF THE COUNTRY.

>> RIGHT.

>> HOW DOES THAT CHANGE YOUR ROLE IN WHAT YOU DO?

>> IT DOESN'T CHANGE IT A LOT. I JUST MAKE SURE I'M AVAILABLE AND AROUND AND -- BUT MY DUTIES ARE ABOUT THE SAME AS NORMAL.

>> IT'S BEEN A LITTLE LESS THAN A YEAR SINCE YOU WERE ELECTED LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR. HOW MANY TIMES HAVE YOU BEEN ACTING GOVERNOR IN THAT YEAR?

>> A FEW TIMES. THE GOVERNOR HAS BEEN AWAY ON A NUMBER OF OCCASIONS, WORK-RELATED AND OTHERWISE.

>> SO WE'RE A YEAR AWAY FROM THE ELECTION, YOU'VE ACTED AS GOVERNOR FOR A FEW YEARS -- FOR A FEW TIMES OVER THIS PAST YEAR. HAVE YOU THOUGHT ABOUT NOT ACTING AND ACTUALLY RUNNING FOR GOVERNOR?

>> NO, I'M PRETTY HAPPY DOING WHAT I'M DOING. I THINK I'M EFFECTIVE, MY ROLE HAS WORKED OUT PRETTY WELL WITH MY CONSTRUCTION BACKGROUND, WITH THE NUMBER OF EVENTS WE'VE HAD OVER THE LAST EIGHT MONTHS, I THINK I'M SUITED TO THE POSITION.

>> I'M CURIOUS THE DYNAMIC AND SOME OF THE VIEWERS MAY BE AS WELL. LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR PHIL SCOTT IS A REPUBLICAN, GOVERNOR SHUMLIN IS A DEMOCRATIC. IRENE SEEMED TO CHANGE A LOT OF THE DYNAMIC BUT WHAT HAVE YOU LEARNED IN WORKING WITH A DEMOCRATIC ADMINISTRATION?

>> YOU'LL HAVE TO -- IF YOU'LL RECALL, I SERVED WITH THE GOVERNOR FOR EIGHT YEARS IN THE SENATE, SO WE HAVE A RAPPORT THEN. SO IT'S NOT ENTIRELY NEW. THERE IS -- HE HAS BEEN VERY GOOD AS FAR AS INCLUDING ME IN A NUMBER OF DIFFERENT AREAS. KEEPS ME ABREAST OF WHAT'S GOING ON. I GO TO CABINET MEETINGS. AND I RAISE MY HAND WHEN I DON'T THINK SOMETHING IS -- SHOULD BE HAPPENING, OR I'M OPPOSED TO SOMETHING. SO I THINK HE LISTENS. I THINK HE APPRECIATES MY POINT OF VIEW. SO I THINK THE NUMBER OF EVENTS, AGAIN, WITH IRENE AND THE SPRING FLOODING AND THE BLIZZARD AND SO FORTH, I THINK IT DOES HAVE A WAY OF WIPING AWAY SOME OF THE POLITICAL PARTISANSHIP AND BRINGS EVERYONE TOGETHER.

>> SPEAKING OF IRENE, WHERE ARE WE AT THIS POINT IN THE RESPONSE OR HAVE WE MOVED TO A RECOVERY PHASE YET?

>> WE'RE STILL -- I WENT TO RUTLAND THE OTHER DAY AND 107 IS STILL CLOSED BETWEEN BETHEL AND KILLINGTON. AND WHEN I WENT THROUGH, I WENT THROUGH SOME OF THE BACK ROADS IN BETHEL AND STOCKBRIDGE AND PITSFIELD, AND IT WAS A REMINDER TO ME THAT THIS IS FAR FROM OVER. THERE'S STILL A LOT OF DEVASTATION, DISPLACED FOLKS NOT IN THEIR HOMES, AND ROADS THAT, WHILE PASSIBLE, ARE NOT PERMANENTLY REPAIRED. SO WE HAVE A LONG WAYS TO GO. BUT I'M VERY PROUD OF WHAT WE'VE ACCOMPLISHED IN THIS SHORT TIME, SIX WEEKS BETWEEN WHAT I SAW SIX WEEKS AGO AND WHAT I'VE SEEN TODAY. WE'VE MADE REMARKABLE PROGRESS AND WE OWE A LOT OF THANKS TO NOT ONLY OUR AGENCY OF TRANSPORTATION OFFICIALS BUT -- AND WORKERS, BUT ALSO THE NATIONAL GUARD, PRIVATE CONTRACTORS, AND OTHERS THAT HAVE JUST COME TOGETHER AND STEPPED UP AND DONE WHAT'S RIGHT.

>> DO WE HAVE A PRICE TAG YET ON WHAT THIS STORM IS GOING TO COST THE STATE AND HOW MUCH THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT'S GOING TO PITCH IN TO OFFSET SOME OF THE COSTS SOME.

>> YEAH, UNFORTUNATELY IT APPEARS IT'S GOING TO EXCEED MAYBE THE BILLION DOLLAR MARK IN TOTAL. BUT WE DON'T HAVE THAT ASSESSMENT YET. AND THE -- THE QUESTION OF WHAT IT'S GOING TO COST IS REALLY THE BILLION-DOLLAR QUESTION. BECAUSE WE DON'T KNOW WHAT THE SHARE WILL BE FROM FEMA WITH WHAT'S GOING ON IN WASHINGTON. IT'S ANYBODY'S GUESS AS TO WHETHER IT'S GOING TO BE AN 80/20 MATCH, 20% STATE MATCH, OR WHETHER IT'S GOING TO BE SOMEWHAT LESS. WITH KATRINA THEY HAD A HUNDRED PERCENT FUNDING. SO WE'RE HOPING WE CAN GET MORE ASSISTANCE THAN 80% BUT THAT REMAINS TO BE SEEN.

>> SO HOW SHOULD THE STATE MAKE UP THE REST OF THAT MONEY? WE'RE IN A DOWN ECONOMY. REVENUES STILL ARE NOT LOOKING GREAT. WE'RE COMING OFF OF SEVERAL TOUGH BUDGETING YEARS WHERE THERE WERE CUTS IN STATE GOVERNMENT. AGENCIES AND DEPARTMENTS HAVE BEEN TOLD TO PLAN ON LEVEL FUNDING AT BEST, LOOK AT MAYBE 4% CUTS. IF THE STATE HAS TO MAKE UP 20% OR EVEN 10% OF A BILLION DOLLARS, THAT'S A LOT OF MONEY, LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR. HOW DOES THE STATE DO THAT? TAXES? WHAT DO YOU LOOK AT?

>> WE'RE GOING TO HAVE TO PRIORITIZE, BELT-TIGHTEN LIKE WE'RE ANTICIPATING. WHEN I SAY BILLION DOLLARS THAT'S A SUM TOTAL OF A LOT OF DIFFERENT POTS, MANY OF THAT BEING MUNICIPAL. AND THAT DOES PUT PRESSURE ON PROPERTY TAXES AS WELL IF THE COMMUNITIES HAVE TO COME UP WITH THEIR SHARE, THAT'S GOING TO BE A TREMENDOUS BURDEN FOR THEM. BUT THERE MAY BE PROJECTS THAT WE'RE GOING TO HAVE TO PUT OFF IN ORDER TO DO THE RECOVERY WORK AS WELL. SOME OF THOSE PROJECTS MAY HAVE BEEN ON THE BOOKS, SO AT THE SPEAK, ANYHOW. SO I THINK THAT WE'RE GOING TO HAVE TO LOOK AT EVERYTHING AND DETERMINE HOW WE GET THROUGH THIS AND IN THE END, YOU KNOW, THE LAST THING WE WANT TO DO IS RAISE TAXES.

>> IS THAT SOMETHING THAT'S BEING TALKED ABOUT, THOUGH, AS A POSSIBILITY?

>> I -- I DIDN'T KNOW AS ANYTHING IS BEING TALKED ABOUT SPECIFICALLY, BECAUSE WE DON'T KNOW WHAT THE ANSWER WILL BE, WHAT THE -- WHAT THE NUMBER IS. AND I THINK UNTIL WE GET TO THAT POINT, IT MAY BE PREMATURE TO TALK ABOUT -- OBVIOUSLY EVERYTHING WILL HAVE TO BE ON THE TABLE, BUT TO TALK ABOUT SOMETHING LIKE THAT.

>> YOU TALK ABOUT HOW IRENE SORT OF BROUGHT THE STATE TOGETHER. THERE WASN'T A LOT OF POLITICIZING ABOUT THIS ISSUE BUT RECENTLY IT SEEMS TO HAVE GOTTEN POLITICAL. THE CHAIR OF THE REPUBLICAN PARTY PAT McDONALD SENT OUT A PRESS RELEASE MAKING A POINT THAT HERE ARE THINGS THE GOVERNOR SHOULD DO, MAYBE CALL A SPECIAL SESSION, DELAY AND CHANGE SOME SPENDING PRIORITIES RIGHT AWAY, FOR EXAMPLE HOUSING, WHY HOUSING CONSERVATION WHEN WE HAVE THESE ISSUES THAT ARE SO PRESSING. DO YOU THINK IT'S INEVITABLE THAT THIS WILL GET POLITICAL AND DO YOU AGREE WITH HIS SUGGESTIONS FOR GOVERNOR SHUMLIN?

>> I THINK IT'S INEVITABLE. THE PARTY WILL BE OVER AT SOME POINT AND WE WILL BECOME -- THIS WILL BE POLITICIZED IS THE WAY THINGS HAPPEN. I THINK THE SUGGESTIONS BY PAT McDONALD WERE -- SOME OF THEM WERE APPROPRIATE TO LOOK AT. I THINK THAT WE PROBABLY SHOULD LOOK AT THOSE IN THE UPCOMING SESSION. I THINK -- I SAID PREVIOUS TO PAT McDONALD'S PRESS RELEASE, I HAD SAID THAT I WOULD -- I THINK THE CALLING OF A SESSION WAS PREMATURE. I DIDN'T THINK WE HAD ENOUGH INFORMATION TO DO THAT. IF WE HAD EVERYTHING, OBVIOUSLY THAT COULD BE DONE. BUT I'M SURE, AS YOU KNOW, AFTER BEING IN THE STATE HOUSE AND WATCHING SOME OF WHAT HAPPENS OR DOESN'T HAPPEN IN THE STATE HOUSE, THAT MAY NOT -- THAT WOULDN'T BE A ONE-DAY SESSION, THAT WOULD BE A PROLONGED SESSION IN ORDER FOR EVERYONE TO GET THE INFORMATION THAT THEY NEEDED TO TAKE ANY VOTES ON WHATEVER. AND THERE WOULD BE A LOT OF GRANDSTANDING GOING ON BESIDES. SO I THINK I THINK THAT IT'S APPROPRIATE FOR SOME OF THE COMMITTEES TO COME BACK AND START THEIR WORK, PARTICULARLY THE INSTITUTIONS COMMITTEES WITH THE STATE COMPLEX QUESTION. I THINK THE TRANSPORTATION COMMITTEES COULD COME BACK AND START SOME WORK, AND I UNDERSTAND THAT THEY WILL BE. THERE IS SOME COMMITTEE WORK THAT COULD BE DONE, AND I THINK THEY WILL BE STARTING. BUT TO BRING EVERYONE BACK, I DON'T KNOW IF THAT WOULD BE AN EFFICIENT USE OF STATE DOLLARS.

>> DO YOU THINK THAT THIS ONE -- A FOLLOW-UP, DO YOU THINK THAT WAS INAPPROPRIATE, THAT THAT E-MAIL CHANGED THE TENOR OF WHAT HAD BEEN A TRI PARTISAN, BIPARTISAN EFFORT?

>> I DON'T THINK IT WAS INAPPROPRIATE. I THINK THE ONE THING THAT WE DO HAVE IS THE ABILITY TO -- TO VOICE OUR OPINIONS. AND I THINK THAT THAT'S HEALTHY. I THINK PEOPLE SHOULD BE ABLE TO TELL US WHAT THEY THINK. I THINK THAT A LOT OF PEOPLE WERE THINKING THAT. I THINK THERE WAS A NUMBER OF LEGISLATORS, MAYBE FROM BOTH PARTIES, THAT WANTED TO COME BACK IN AND AT LEAST GET AN ASSESSMENT OF WHAT WAS GOING ON. AND THAT'S -- COMMUNICATION IS A BIG PART OF THAT. BEING ABLE TO BRING EVERYBODY UP TO SPEED IS IMPORTANT. BUT AGAIN, TO BRING EVERYONE BACK IN ORDER TO VOTE ON ISSUES I THINK WAS PREMATURE. WE DON'T HAVE THE QUESTIONS, EVEN, YET.

>> WELL, YOU HAD MENTIONED THE STATE OFFICE COMPLEX. AND THAT'S SOMETHING WE DO HAVE AT LEAST A PRELIMINARY PRICE TAG ON. JUST CLEANUP ALONE WE'RE LOOKING AT AT LEAST 20 MILLION. THE HUMAN SERVICES SECRETARY SAYS IT WILL PROBABLY BE CLOSER TO 25, THAT'S JUST TO CLEAN IT UP. YOU HAD MENTIONED YOU SIT IN ON THESE CABINET MEETINGS. WHAT'S BEEN THE DISCUSSION ABOUT THE STATE OFFICE COMPLEX IN WATERBURY. DO YOU THINK THE STATE IS GOING TO MOVE BACK INTO THAT FACILITY?

>> I WAS THERE THREE DAYS AFTER THE EVENT AND DID MY WALK-THROUGH. AND I GAVE MY ASSESSMENT, AND I THOUGHT THAT WE WERE LOOKING AT A PRICE TAG AT THAT POINT OF 50 TO 100 MILLION BECAUSE OF -- IT WASN'T WHAT YOU CAN SEE. IT WASN'T LIKE THE BUILDING'S FLOATED OFF THE FOUNDATIONS BUT IT WAS THE INNER WORKINGS, THE INFRASTRUCTURE, THE WATER, SEWER, TELECOMMUNICATIONS, ELECTRICAL, THINGS LIKE THAT THAT HAD BEEN DAMAGED, AND THERE'S TUNNELS THAT RUN ALL THROUGH THE COMPLEX. AND THERE, AS FAR AS I KNOW, COULD STILL BE FLOODED, I'M NOT SURE. BUT THERE'S INNER DAMAGE THERE THAT WE HADN'T -- COULDN'T SEE. AND THE OTHER -- THE OTHER FACT IS THAT IT WASN'T THE BEST OFFICE SPACE TO BEGIN WITH. WE HAVE BEEN PUTTING MONEY INTO THOSE BUILDINGS FOR A NUMBER OF YEARS BECAUSE WE OWN THEM, AND THAT WAS THE THING TO DO. BUT TO HAVE AN OPPORTUNITY TO STEP BACK AND REALLY TAKE A LOOK AND ASSESS THE WHOLE SITUATION AFTER GETTING A FINAL PRICE TAG I THINK IS GOING TO BE TO OUR BENEFIT TO -- PRUDENT TO LOOK AT WHETHER IT'S APPROPRIATE TO DO ANYTHING. I THINK WE WILL DEFINITELY MOVE IN TO SOME OF THE BUILDINGS, PUBLIC SAFETY WILL BE MOVING BACK INTO SHORTLY, POSSIBLY AGRICULTURE, I DON'T KNOW. THAT'S A FAIRLY NEW BUILDING. BUT I THINK WE'RE GOING TO HAVE TO LOOK AT BUILDINGS INDIVIDUALLY.

>> DOES THE STATE HAVE A COMMITMENT TO WATERBURY, THOUGH? I MEAN, IF YOU TAKE OUT MORE THAN 1500 STATE EMPLOYEES FROM THAT FACILITY, THIS IS GOING TO BE DEVASTATING TO WATERBURY.

>> YES, I AGREE. I REPRESENTED WASHINGTON COUNTY FOR TEN YEARS, AND I -- THEY'RE FRIENDS OF MINE, MANY OF THE PEOPLE THAT ARE IN BUSINESS THERE AND LIVE THERE ARE FRIENDS. SO I UNDERSTAND THE CATASTROPHIC NATURE OF THIS. BUT WE HAVE TO BE REALISTIC. WE HAVE TO LOOK AT THE SITUATION AND REALLY DEFINE WHETHER THIS IS APPROPRIATE FOR US TO MOVE BACK IN CONSIDERING WHETHER THERE COULD BE ANOTHER EVENT IN TEN YEARS. IS IT -- AGAIN, DO WE RAISE THE EXISTING BUILDINGS THAT ARE THERE AND REPLACE THERE? COULD BE DONE, RAISING THE ELEVATIONS OF THE BUILDINGS. I THINK EVERYTHING SHOULD BE ON THE TABLE. THERE COULD BE OTHER -- THERE COULD BE A PRIVATE ENTITY THAT WOULD LIKE TO BUY THE FACILITY. WE DON'T KNOW. THAT COULD BE -- THAT COULD ROLL EVERYTHING BACK INTO THE TAX ROLLS, WHICH WOULD BE A GAIN, I WOULD THINK, FOR THE TOWN VILLAGE OF WATERBURY. BUT WHATEVER WE DO RIGHT NOW, IT'S GOING TO BE A LONG TIME BEFORE WE'RE BACK IN. IF WE DECIDED TODAY, IF WE MADE THE DECISION TODAY TO MOVE BACK IN, I WOULD DARE SAY IT WOULD BE A YEAR BEFORE WE WOULD RELOCATE EVERYONE BACK IN TO WATERBURY.

>> IN THOSE CABINET MEETINGS, HAS THIS BEEN DISCUSSED, OR IS THERE A WAY THAT PEOPLE ARE LEANING? OR ARE THERE ANY OTHER SITES THAT HAVE BEEN LOOKED AT YET TO GET PEOPLE BACK IN WATERBURY?

>> YEAH, AND I'VE -- YOU KNOW, I DON'T DISCUSS ANYTHING THAT HAPPENS IN THE CABINET MEETINGS, BUT I CAN SAY THAT THERE'S A GROUP THAT IS WORKING ON THIS, BUILDINGS CHANNEL SERVICES HAS BEEN TAKING THE LEAD ON THIS, TRYING TO ASSESS THE DAMAGE. AND THAT'S THE FIRST STEP IS TO TRY AND ASSESS IT, GET A NUMBER. BUT I DON'T KNOW OF ANY OTHER LOCATIONS THAT ARE BEING LOOKED AT AT THIS POINT.

>> THE 50 TO $100 MILLION, I'M CURIOUS, THE ESTIMATE THAT YOU HAD PUT OUT THERE, IS THAT JUST CLEANUP?

>> THAT WAS MY ESTIMATE, IT WASN'T BASED ON ANYTHING BUT EXPERIENCE.

>> OKAY.

>> AND IT WAS TO PUT PEOPLE BACK IN. THAT WAS JUST MY INITIAL ASSESSMENT OF WHAT ARE WE TALKING. WE'RE NOT TALKING ABOUT A MILLION DOLLARS HERE, WE'RE TALKING ABOUT 50 TO A HUNDRED. AND THAT I THINK RAISED THE EYEBROWS OF MANY.

>> READING BETWEEN THE LINES OF WHAT YOU SAID, THOUGH, LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR, IT SOUNDS LIKE BEST-CASE SCENARIO MAYBE WORKERS COULD BE IN THERE IN A YEAR BUT SOUNDS LIKE THAT FACILITY AS WE KNOW IT IS JUST NOT VIABLE.

>> I THINK THERE ARE GOING TO BE CHANGES THERE, IT'S INEVITABLE. WE'RE NOT GOING BACK IN THERE EXACTLY AS-IS. AND MAYBE IT'S A HYBRID. MAYBE IT'S -- AND AGAIN, I THINK IT'S -- IT'S OUR DUTY TO LOOK AT ALL OPTIONS SO THAT WE MAKE THE BEST CHOICE FOR THE TAXPAYERS OF VERMONT. AND WE CERTAINLY WANT TO DO WHATEVER WE CAN FOR WATERBURY, BUT WE HAVE AN OBLIGATION TO THE ENTIRE STATE.

>> JUST QUICKLY, YOU SORT OF HAD A REAL INSIDER'S VIEW ON WHAT'S BEEN GOING ON WITH IRENE AND THE CLEANUP AND THIS IS SORT OF UNPRECEDENTED, STATE WORKERS DISPLACED, IT'S BEEN TOUGH FOR STATE GOVERNMENT TO EVEN FUNCTION. HAVE YOU NOTICED SOMETHING THAT YOU THOUGHT, THIS WENT WRONG AND IF WE HAVE ANOTHER DISASTER THIS IS WHAT SHOULD BE DONE DIFFERENTLY?

>> IT'S GOING TO BE A TIME WHEN WE WILL REFLECT AND PROBABLY WANT TO MAKE SOME CHANGES. BUT AT THIS POINT, I THINK EVERYONE DID AN INCREDIBLE JOB OF PULLING TOGETHER. AND DOING WHAT'S BEST. AND IT WAS RIGHT DOWN TO THE COMMUNITIES THEMSELVES. I WAS JUST SO IMPRESSED. IT WAS MAYBE FOUR OR FIVE DAYS AFTER THAT SUNDAY, AND I WAS IN ROCHESTER. AND THEY HAD SET UP, IN THE COMMUNITY CENTER THERE, A FOOD SHELF EMERGENCY CENTER. AND IT LOOKED LIKE A GROCERY STORE. THE SENATOR WOULD HAVE BEEN IMPRESSED BECAUSE THEY HAD EVERYTHING CATEGORIZED, IT WAS LIKE WALKING INTO A SUPERMARKET AND THAT WAS ALL VOLUNTEERS. WHEN I WENT TO BRIDGEWATER, ABOUT THE THIRD DAY, I WAS ONE OF THE FIRST OFFICIALS TO LAND THERE. LAND -- DRIVE THERE. AND THEY HAD -- THERE WAS 35 FAMILIES THAT WERE DISPLACED, AND THEY DID -- THEY TOOK IT UPON THEMSELVES, SET UP THEIR OWN EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT CENTER, HAD THEIR OWN FOOD SHELF AND THEY PUT THOSE FAMILIES IN OTHER HOMES IN THE COMMUNITY.

>> AND THIS MAYBE MEANS THE STATE WASN'T DOING THEIR JOB GETTING TO THEM?

>> NO, I DON'T THINK THAT AT ALL. I JUST THINK THAT EVERYONE TOOK IT UPON THEMSELVES TO NOT WAIT, YOU KNOW, NOT TO SIT AROUND AND WAIT. BUT WE CAN DO SOMETHING TO HELP OURSELVES. AND THEY DID THAT. AND WHILE THEY WERE DOING THAT, STATE OFFICIALS, AGENCY OF TRANSPORTATION FOLKS, WERE WORKING AROUND THE CLOCK TRYING TO GET TO THEM, AND PRIVATE CONTRACTORS. AND IT WAS JUST A COMBINED EFFORT OF A LOT OF PEOPLE THAT WAS REALLY, REALLY IMPRESSIVE. AND I CAN'T SAY ENOUGH ABOUT WHAT I SAW. WHEN I WAS ON ROUTE 4 MAYBE A WEEK AND A HALF AFTER, I'D SEEN ROUTE 4 GOING FROM MENDEN TO KILLINGTON AND THERE WAS LITERALLY HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF YARDS THAT HAD TO BE REPLACED OF MATERIAL, WE'RE TALKING THOUSANDS OF TRUCKLOADS OF MATERIAL THAT NEEDED TO BE BROUGHT BACK IN AND I THOUGHT IT WOULD BE MONTHS BEFORE THAT WOULD REOPEN BUT THEY BROUGHT IN THREE CONTRACTORS, THEY HAD THE NATIONAL GUARD, THEY HAD AGENCY OF TRANSPORTATION, AND THEY WERE ALL WORKING TOGETHER. IT WASN'T ABOUT HAVING DIFFERENT SECTIONS AND SOMEBODY NOT GETTING ALONG. THEY WERE WORKING HAND IN HAND TO GET THAT TOGETHER. THERE WAS COSELLA, MARKOWSKI AND BELDON. ALL THREE OWNERS OF THE BUSINESSES WERE RIGHT THERE ON THE GROUND WORKING TO MAKE IT HAPPEN.

>> ANOTHER ISSUE SURROUNDING THE STATE WATERBURY COMPLEX IS THE STATE HOSPITAL. OBVIOUSLY THIS HAS BEEN SORT OF A PROBLEM FACILITY FOR A NUMBER OF YEARS. THERE'S BEEN TALK ABOUT IT CLOSING IN THE PAST. HAS THAT SPED THIS PLAN ALONG? WHAT'S NEXT FOR THE PATIENTS WHO ARE NOW DISPLACED ACROSS THE STATE?

>> THAT'S A VERY, VERY DIFFICULT SITUATION. THERE'S 50-PLUS FOLKS THAT ARE ALL ACROSS THE STATE. AND THEY ARE LOOKING FOR OTHER AREAS. AND I'M -- I WOULD -- I WOULD HATE TO SEE THEM PUT BACK IN THE EXISTING HOSPITAL.

>> THERE'S NO CONCLUSION ON, YOU KNOW, WE HEARD SOME TALK ABOUT THEY MIGHT BE GOING TO THIS CLOSED SCHOOL POTENTIALLY --

>> I HEARD THEY'RE LOOKING AT THAT AS WELL.

>> WE'LL CONTINUE OUR

>>> WELCOME BACK. WE'RE CONTINUING OUR DISCUSSION WITH LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR P HIL SCOTT. WE'RE COVERING A LOT OF ISSUES BUT REALLY IRENE WHICH HAS DOMINATED SO MUCH OF THE STATE WORK.

>> ABSOLUTELY. SO MANY HOMES LOST IN THIS STORM, MOBILE HOMES AS WELL. YOU HAD LAUNCHED AN EFFORT I THINK A COUPLE OF WEEKS AGO BECAUSE SO MANY MOBILE HOMES WERE DESTROYED IN THIS STORM. TELL US ABOUT THAT.

>> IT WAS THE TRAILER PARK IN BERLIN, AND THERE WERE 70 MOBILE HOMES THERE THAT WERE DESTROYED. AND WHAT WE ARE TRYING -- WHAT WE WERE FINDING OUT WAS THE DOLLARS ARE SO LIMITED, IT'S A MAXIMUM OF $30,200 FROM FEMA. AND OUT OF THAT MONEY COMES EVERYTHING, WHETHER TEMPORARY HOUSING OUT OF THE 30,200, AS WELL AS THE DISPOSAL OF THE HOME ITSELF. AND I WAS HEARING FIGURES OF 35 TO $4,500 FOR DEMOLITION AND REMOVEMENT. BEING A CONTRACTOR MYSELF I THOUGHT, YOU KNOW, MAYBE WITH THE ECONOMIES OF SCALE WITH MORE UNITS THAT MAYBE SOMETHING ELSE COULD BE DONE. SO WE PUT TOGETHER A GROUP WITH THE ASSOCIATED GENERAL CONTRACTORS, AND THE STATE WORKING WITH HOUSING AND COMMUNITY AFFAIRS, TO COME UP WITH A PROGRAM WHERE WE COULD SET A LOWER PRICE. AND WE SET A PRICE OF $1,500 FOR THE REMOVAL OF THOSE HOMES. AND IT'S -- IT'S A BIT MORE OF -- THERE'S MORE HURDLES IN THE WAY THAN I HAD ANTICIPATED IN TERMS OF RELEASE OF LIENS. FEMA SIGNING OFF, ALL KINDS OF THINGS LIKE THAT BUT IT'S MOVING FORWARD AND WE'VE RECEIVED SOME GRANTS -- OR SOME CONTRIBUTIONS FROM -- $25,000 FROM ONE GROUP TOWARDS THE CAUSE. I'M WORKING ON A COUPLE OF OTHERS. AND I THINK WE'RE GETTING CLOSER TO BEING ABLE TO DO IT FOR LESS MONEY EVEN. SO WE'RE GONNA MOVE FORWARD, DO THE PROGRAM, AND LIKE I SAID, THERE'S 170 OF THEM THROUGHOUT THE STATE THAT NEED TO BE DISPOSED OF. AND THEN WE'LL SEE WHAT WE HAVE LEFT AT THE END AND BE ABLE TO HOPEFULLY GIVE SOME MONEY BACK TO SOME MORE PEOPLE.

>> AND PART OF THAT IS SALVAGING WHAT CAN BE SALVAGED OUT OF THOSE MOBILE HOMES.

>> WE'LL BE TAKING THE MOBILE HOMES THEMSELVES APART AND SALVAGING AS MUCH AS WE CAN THAT CAN BE SAVED AND THEN SEPARATING THE WASTE MATERIALS FROM THE METAL. AND THE METAL IS, YOU KNOW, IT'S GOING FOR $240 A TON RIGHT NOW SO IT'S WORTH SOMETHING. SO WITH THAT IN CONJUNCTION WITH WORKING WITH THE SOLID WASTE DISTRICTS, ONE OF THEM HAS WAIVED THEIR FEE, SO THAT SAVES, YOU KNOW, A COUPLE HUNDRED BUCKS PER MOBILE HOME AS WELL. SO AGAIN, WORKING IN PARTNERSHIP WITH A LOT OF ENTITIES, PUBLIC AND PRIVATE, I THINK WE'VE BEEN ABLE TO PUT TOGETHER SOMETHING THAT WILL HELP OUT A LOT OF FOLKS.

>> THIS IS OF COURSE THE SEASON WHERE A LOT OF TOURISTS COME FOR THE FOLIAGE. WE'RE HEARING MIXED REVIEWS. YOU HAVE A PASSION THAT'S DRIVING AND YOU REDECORATED YOUR RACE CAR WHEN YOU TOOK IT TO NEW HAMPSHIRE. RIGHT? WHAT KIND OF FEEDBACK DID YOU GET ON THAT?

>> IT WAS LOWDEN, IT WAS A GREAT PROMOTION.

>> IT'S A GOAL JUST TO SAY -- LET'S HAVE MORE PEOPLE UNDERSTAND. FROM A TOURISM PERSPECTIVE, THE NATIONAL MEDIA ATTENTION MADE IT SOUND LIKE ALL OF VERMONT WAS UNDER WATER.

>> A LOT OF PEOPLE WERE CANCELING AND SAYING I UNDERSTAND YOU'RE CLOSED. IF I GET OFF THE FERRY CAN I GET ANYWHERE FROM THERE. SO I THOUGHT WHAT BETTER WAY THAN TO GO TO A NATIONAL EVENT LIKE A NASCAR EVENT WHERE THEY HAVE MILLIONS OF VIEWERS AND HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF PEOPLE THERE AT THE RACE AND BE ABLE TO PROMOTE. SO FROM MY -- I WENT DOWN THERE TO RACE ON THE SATURDAY EVENT. WHICH DIDN'T GO SO WELL. BUT THE PROMOTION ITSELF WAS A WINNER. AND WE -- I WAS ABLE TO GET ON A NUMBER OF NATIONAL PROGRAMS, RADIO, PRINT MEDIA, AND TV. AND SENT THAT MESSAGE. AND ON SUNDAY THEY GAVE ME THE OPPORTUNITY TO GET UP IN FRONT OF THE HUNDRED THOUSAND PEOPLE ON THE PODIUM AND GIVE A 30-SECOND MESSAGE ABOUT VERMONT. THAT WE WERE OPEN FOR BUSINESS. SO THEY --

>> AND VERMONT STRONG.

>> DECKED OUT IN THE MOTTO FOR THE STATE RIGHT NOW.

>> THE FOLKS THAT DEVELOPED THE LOGO IN RUTLAND, THE I AM VERMONT STRONG LET US CHANGE IT TO WE ARE VERMONT STRONG WHICH IS IMPORTANT TO ME BECAUSE THIS IS A JOINT EFFORT, A TEAM EFFORT.

>> WELL, WE HAVE JUST ABOUT A MINUTE LEFT, LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR. WHAT IS THE NEXT PRIORITY MOVING AHEAD WITH IRENE AND THE ISSUES THE STATE'S FACING?

>> WELL, I THINK WE NEED TO STILL KEEP MOVING AND KEEPING UP THE MOMENTUM THAT WE'VE BUILT, THAT WE -- AGAIN, THERE'S A LOT OF -- THIS ISN'T OVER. THE MUNICIPALITIES HAVE -- I THINK THAT'S WHERE A LOT OF THE ROAD DAMAGE IS STILL EVIDENT, BRIDGES ARE STILL OUT IN MUNICIPALITIES, WHILE WE HAVE MAYBE SIX BRIDGE CLOSURES, THERE'S A DOZEN -- DOZENS OF BRIDGE CLOSURES IN THE MUNICIPAL SECTOR AND ROADS CLOSED. SO THAT'S GONNA BE CONTINUING. AND WE WON'T BE ABLE TO GET ALL THOSE OPENED UP, I DON'T BELIEVE, BEFORE WINTER. GETTING PEOPLE BACK IN HOMES, THAT'S A PRIORITY BEFORE WINTER. WINTER'S A STRESSFUL TIME AND WE'RE PUTTING ON THE WHEELS FOR WARMTH AT THE END OF THE MONTH. THAT'S A PROGRAM THAT I STARTED A NUMBER OF YEARS AGO, RECYCLING TIRES AND PUTTING TIRES BACK INTO USE. AND THERE'S NEVER BEEN A MORE IMPORTANT TIME FOR THAT. AND THE MONEY THAT WE RAISE, WE PUT BACK INTO FUEL ASSISTANCE. SO THAT'S GOING TO BE A PRIORITY.

>> ALL RIGHT. LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR PHIL SCOTT, ACTING GOVERNOR AS WE TAPE THIS ON FRIDAY. THANK YOU VERY MUCH FOR YOUR TIME.

>> THANK YOU VERY MUCH.

>> NICE TO SEE YOU.

>> WE WANT TO GIVE A QUICK CONGRATULATIONS TO A MEMBER OF THE CHANNEL 3 NEWS FAMILY.

>> HE RECENTLY RETIRED. NOW ANDY POTTER WILL BE INDUCTED INTO THE VERMONT ASSOCIATION OF BROADCASTERS HALL OF FAME, AND HE DESERVES IT.

>> ABSOLUTELY. ANDY'S A LEGENDARY BROADCASTER. HE STARTED IN RADIO IN MIDDLEBURY IN THE '60s AND JOINED OUR NEWS TEAM 14 YEARS AGO. HE RETIRED TWO WEEKS AGO AND WILL BE INDUCTED INTO THE HALL OF FAME IN NOVEMBER.

>> CONGRATULATIONS, ANDY. I CERTAINLY LOOKED UP TO YOU AND LEARNED QUITE A BIT.

>> I THINK WE ALL HAVE. THANKS FOR JOINING US, EVERYONE. HAVE A GREAT DAY.

>> TAKE CARE. Captioning Provided By CaPTION ASSOCIATES, LLC WWW.CAPTIONASSOCIATES.COM

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    A 70-year-old Vermont man charged with fatally shooting two electricians who were working on his rented home last winter is asking for a new lawyer.
  • Vt. man gets 35-plus years for rape

    Vt. man gets 35-plus years for rape

    Friday, July 25 2014 9:56 AM EDT2014-07-25 13:56:29 GMT
    A Vermont man has been sentenced to 35 years to life in prison for raping a woman while she slept.
    A Vermont man has been sentenced to 35 years to life in prison for raping a woman while she slept.
  • Vt. man charged with driving 102 mph on Interstate 89

    Vt. man charged with driving 102 mph on Interstate 89

    Friday, July 25 2014 10:06 AM EDT2014-07-25 14:06:04 GMT
    A 40-year-old man from northwestern Vermont has been charged with gross negligent operation of a motor vehicle after police say they clocked him doing 102 mph on Interstate 89 in Richmond this week.
    A 40-year-old man from northwestern Vermont has been charged with gross negligent operation of a motor vehicle after police say they clocked him doing 102 mph on Interstate 89 in Richmond this week.
  • Wire fraud case of Vt. man delayed until late August

    Wire fraud case of Vt. man delayed until late August

    Friday, July 25 2014 10:56 AM EDT2014-07-25 14:56:49 GMT
    The sentencing of a Vermont man convicted of wire fraud for submitting false invoices to a Maine town won't be scheduled until sometime after Aug. 22.
    The sentencing of a Vermont man convicted of wire fraud for submitting false invoices to a Maine town won't be scheduled until sometime after Aug. 22.
  • VTrans foreman charged with insurance fraud

    VTrans foreman charged with insurance fraud

    Friday, July 25 2014 9:59 AM EDT2014-07-25 13:59:29 GMT
    A Vermont Transportation Agency foreman is facing charges he lied to police and his insurance company after reporting damage to his personal truck was a hit-and-run accident, when it was hit by a new employee.
    A Vermont Transportation Agency foreman is facing charges he lied to police and his insurance company after reporting damage to his personal truck was a hit-and-run accident, when it was hit by a new employee.
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