Burlington Free Press

November 3, 2010 by Post Team 

Burlington Free Press, Burlington Telecom has not made a payment of 480 thousand and CitiCapital Sunday, including 386 000 and interest, but Mayor Bob Kiss said Monday that negotiations with lenders are ongoing.

“We are in continuous discussion with CitiCapital,” Kiss said. “That’s the good news.”

The city has hired financial advisory firm Dorman & Fawcett CitiCapital to negotiate the conditions for reimbursement of 33.5 million and the loan, the lender based in New York made to BT in August 2007. The details of those negotiations have not been made public.

BT has made no interest and principal payments on the loan this year, a total of 1.5 million in arrears, Chief Administrative Officer Jonathan Leopold said.

He arrived on Monday in Philadelphia, Leopold said the city entered into a forbearance agreement with CitiCapital July 1, which expired Sept. 30 but was extended for another 30 days which ends on Sunday.

“But my understanding is that we are continuing to have conversations with them,” said Leopold. “We will continue to be optimistic.” The Free Press reported Oct. 26 that the Department of Civil Service had written a letter to CitiCapital, asking what he would do if BT does not make payment by Sunday.

In the letter, Commissioner David O’Brien CitiCapital asked if BT decided to close if there will be “a great opportunity for existing customers to change carriers before stopping?”

City Council President Bill Keogh, D-District 5, said Monday he does not believe CitiCapital had responded to the letter from the Department of Public Service. Like everyone else, said he is waiting to see how the negotiations with CitiCapital resolved. “I think the ball right now in the court of CitiCapital,” said Keogh.

The government passed a kiss and $ 17 million in public funds between 2007 and 2009 at the end of violation of state regulations to support Burlington Telecom without the knowledge of the council or board members of the Board of Finance. That spending has led to a pending criminal investigation, an audit of the state of bluetongue, a civil lawsuit in Chittenden Superior Court brought by taxpayers, and credit ratings downgrades of the city, the Burlington airport and Electric Department.

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