City-owned Burlington Telecom owes taxpayers millions and is tied up in a multimillion dollar lawsuit with it's former leaseholder CitiCapital, but that baggage isn't clouding the vision of some 400 residents who hope to buy out the company.
"I really do think that this momentum is starting to gain and the rock really is starting to roll down the hill," said Alan Matson, a BT customer and founding member of "Keep BT Local," a local group aiming to raise $10-million and to buy and expand Burlington Telecom. Just this week the group officially became a cooperative, a title they hope will get city officials to take them seriously. "When you have a need to have an extremely loyal customer base, there's no better business model than a cooperative," Matson said.
The group is gaining momentum. It is set to establish bylaws and elect a board of directors next week. But not all the pieces are falling nicely into place. So far it's goals for fundraising have fallen far shorter than expected and though they have 400 members, they had hoped to already have 1,000. "It's a tough one," admitted Matson. "I'm not going to stand here and say we've got it all lined up."
And there's still the matter of the lawsuit. Until that's resolved, the group can't really do anything. Still, Matson is optimistic. "Assuming all those kind of come into place, we need to be there and be a company that can make a legitimate offer," Matson said.
Burlington officials have been careful not to comment on future plans for BT until the lawsuit is settled. But Matson still hopes that if the co-op can raise $5-million from donations and another $5-million in a loan from a bank or an investor, it will be enough to be taken seriously.
Thursday, December 5 2013 1:13 AM EST2013-12-05 06:13:43 GMT
One Georgia man is going all-out to light up his home for Christmas this year. For J.R. Adams, decorating his home elaborately with lights, music, and Santa Claus on a motorcycle is a childhood dream come true. "IMore >>
One Georgia man is going all-out to light up his home for Christmas this year.More >>
Thursday, December 5 2013 1:13 AM EST2013-12-05 06:13:06 GMT
Vermont State Police need your help to find a hit and run driver. They say Wednesday afternoon an older model red Subaru wagon driving north on Route 14 in Williamstown crossed into oncoming traffic, enteredMore >>
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Thursday, December 5 2013 1:12 AM EST2013-12-05 06:12:17 GMT
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Wednesday, December 4 2013 8:05 PM EST2013-12-05 01:05:10 GMT
Burlington's deputy police chief is off the hook on drunk driving charges after reaching a plea deal with prosecutors Wednesday.More >>
Burlington's deputy police chief took a plea deal Wednesday, and then announced his retirement. The plea gets Andi Higbee off the hook for drunk driving, but the resolution of the case also ends his 24-year career with the BPD.More >>
Wednesday, December 4 2013 9:45 AM EST2013-12-04 14:45:58 GMT
Police are looking for two Massachusetts men in connection with an assault and robbery in Burlington's South End. It happened Tuesday afternoon on Marble Ave. Investigators say Bryan Frazier, 30, and Rashad Sabree,More >>
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Wednesday, December 4 2013 9:31 AM EST2013-12-04 14:31:50 GMT
An accused murderer has fired his investigator. Dennis Tribble was convicted of murder twice. The 63-year-old Vermont man was convicted of shooting and killing Michael Borello in 2000. But the VermontMore >>
An accused murderer has fired his investigator.More >>
Wednesday, December 4 2013 6:24 PM EST2013-12-04 23:24:21 GMT
He's already in jail accused of burglaries, now a Lamoille County man is facing more charges. Police say Joshua Loura is now linked to three break-ins in Wolcott and Johnson. He was already accused ofMore >>
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