Recognizing the long-term benefit they may provide, the Norton Sound Economic Development Corporation (NSEDC) Board of Directors have approved the extension of the Community Energy Fund (CEF) and the Large Infrastructure Fund (LIF). The two grant programs were slated to sunset at the end of 2021.
Both the CEF and LIF allocate $1 million to each of NSEDC’s 15 member communities to be utilized toward infrastructure and projects that benefit the community as a whole. The CEF, which is the older of the two programs, has been extended through the year 2024, and the LIF will now be available through 2026. Guidelines and applications for both programs can be found at nsedc.com on the applications page.
“Over the years, our member communities have seen tremendous benefit from these two grant programs,” said NSEDC Board Chairman Frank Katchatag. “We know that developing infrastructure in our region is not only very costly, but also extremely challenging. It can take years of planning and logistics to complete a project, and we wanted to make sure NSEDC’s funding through these programs remained available for the communities that have not fully accessed them.”
Community Energy Fund (CEF)
NSEDC established the CEF in 2009 and has funded more than $8.7 million toward projects that aim to reduce the cost of energy through safe, reliable and efficient energy infrastructure. The program’s extension means approximately $6 million will remain available to be put toward projects that help reduce energy costs for households and community facilities, and stabilize community-wide power and heating costs.
Throughout its history, the CEF has funded a range of projects that include wind turbines in Unalakleet, Nome and St. Michael/Stebbins, as well as power plant efficiency upgrades in Diomede, White Mountain and Shaktoolik, among many others. “While the CEF is one of NSEDC’s older programs, the high energy costs that spurred its creation remain a persistent problem to tackle in our region,” said NSEDC Community Benefits Director Paul Ivanoff, III. “We continue to see member communities actively pursue this funding for important projects and are pleased to see this program extended.”
Large Infrastructure Fund (LIF)
NSEDC established the LIF in 2015 and has funded nearly $4 million in projects that address infrastructure that serves the entire community. The five-year extension of the LIF means more than $10 million will remain available to NSEDC member communities.
The LIF has funded a variety of projects, such as clinics in Savoonga and Gambell, the elder’s assisted living facility in Unalakleet, the thrift store renovation in Nome and a number of tribal building renovations throughout the region. While each NSEDC member community has an allocation of $1 million under the program, individual grants are capped at $300,000. “We have seen 25 projects successfully access this funding over the last six years,” Ivanoff said. “These projects help make our communities better places to live. It’s gratifying to know that the LIF will continue to play an important role in building up our region.”
For more information on the CEF, LIF or any of NSEDC’s grant programs, contact Paul Ivanoff, III at 800-385-3190.