Latest decisions reflect commitment to education and supporting regional infrastructure
UNALAKLEET—The Norton Sound Economic Development Corporation (NSEDC) Board of Directors earmarked $1 million toward “Growing Our Own Teachers,” named NSEDC’s newest tender vessel currently under construction the T/V King Island, approved more than $2.4 million for large infrastructure projects in the region and a $150,000 Community Benefit Share, and elected board and corporate officers at their third quarter board meeting in Unalakleet on November 4-6, 2015.
Elim’s Oscar Takak, Sr. elected as NSEDC Board Chairman, Don Stiles attends last board meeting as director
At the Annual Meeting of Directors, the NSEDC Board elected board and corporate officers. While corporate officers remained unchanged with CEO Janis Ivanoff again elected as President, Quota and Acquisitions Manager Simon Kinneen serving as Vice-President, Executive Assistant Kathy Wheelehan as Secretary and CFO Rick Walicki as Treasurer, the board officers saw significant change. Since 2004 Dan Harrelson has dutifully served as NSEDC Board Chairman. Following the reorganization process, Oscar Takak, Sr. will now sit as Chairman of the board, Dan Harrelson as Vice Chairman, Unalakleet’s Frank Katchatag as Sergeant-at-arms, and Golovin’s Dean Peterson and Koyuk’s Leo Charles also holding seats on the executive committee.
The NSEDC third quarter board meeting was the last for 19-year board member Don Stiles of Nome. NSEDC staff and board thanked Stiles for his commitment to the organization and to Norton Sound communities. Pat Johansen of Nome was sworn in at the Annual Meeting of Directors.
NSEDC Board earmarks $1 million for Growing Our Own Teachers
After the successful Norton Sound Education Summit, NSEDC Board Member Don Stiles made a motion to earmark $1 million toward the “Growing Our Own Teachers” Initiative. Always a staunch advocate for youth and education in the region, Stiles said the teaching jobs in our communities are some of the best jobs available, and a majority of those positions go to individuals from outside the state. “It would be healthy for our region, our communities and the students in our schools if more residents remained in the region as teachers in the schools they attended,” Stiles said.
While the $1 million does not go toward a specific program or organization at this point, the NSEDC Board’s decision affirms the commitment toward education and the effort to cultivate teachers from the region.
NSEDC Board names newest vessel the T/V King Island
NSEDC’s newest commercial fishing tender vessel is currently under construction in Homer. Board Member Don Stiles made a motion at the third quarter board meeting to name the vessel, King Island. “King Island would have been a CDQ community, but the closing of the school forced many families to leave their home,” Stiles said. “The King Island community has remained strong and vibrant despite relocating to Nome. Their resiliency and strength should be celebrated. Nome has not always been the most hospitable place for Alaska Natives. I’m glad things are changing, and I’m honored the community of King Island accepts and approves the naming of our newest vessel.”
The T/V King Island is scheduled to be complete by June 16th in time for the commercial fishing season. NSEDC Vessel Manager Karl Erickson said the T/V King Island will immediately enter the crab rotation with the T/V Paul C. Johnson and will transition to tendering salmon upon completion of the summer crabbing season.
“We’re honored this hard-working vessel will carry the name of our home island,” King Island Native Community Chief Ben Payenna said. “While we no longer live at Ukivok, we have maintained a strong sense of identity and continue to live and thrive in Nome through carrying traditions established on King Island. Thank you, NSEDC, for this recognition.”
NSEDC Board approves $2,405,411 in Large Infrastructure Outside Entity Funding projects
The NSEDC Board of Directors approved ten Large Infrastructure Outside Entity Funding (OEF) projects. Eight of the approved projects are for building construction with two approved for water infrastructure needs. Funding for Large Infrastructure OEF projects are capped at $300,000.
2015 Large Infrastructure Outside Entity Funding
|City of Brevig Mission||Phase 1 – Water Main Line “Loop C” Expansion Project||$300,000|
|City of Elim||VPSO Housing||$300,000|
|City of Gambell||Gambell Clinic Construction||$300,000|
|City of Savoonga||Savoonga Clinic Construction||$300,000|
|City of Unalakleet||Water Plant Operation Upgrades||$74,000|
|City of White Mountain||Feasibility Study for New Landfill Facility||$77,743|
|Nome Eskimo Community (NEC)||Renovation of NEC Tribal Building||$300,000|
|Native Village of Diomede||Little Diomede Health Clinic||$300,000|
|Native Village of Koyuk||Koyuk Head Start Remodel||$153,668|
|Native Village of Unalakleet||Assisted Living Facility||$300,000|
NSEDC Board approves $150,000 Community Benefit Share
With another strong financial report from Chief Financial Officer Rick Walicki, the NSEDC Board of Directors continued the tradition of sharing success with its 15 member communities.
NSEDC will distribute $150,000 to each community for the 2015 Community Benefit Share. Since the inception of the program in 1999, NSEDC has designated nearly $23.75 million in direct financial support to member communities.
In the spirit of self-governance, the Community Benefit Share is set up to provide member communities a say in how the funds are spent. The 2015 Community Benefit Share will be distributed to the respective city governments as soon as the cities report to NSEDC on the intended uses of the funds, and provide an audit of all preceding year Community Benefit Share expenditures.
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