Distribution to help offset member communities’ burdens associated with COVID-19 pandemic
The Norton Sound Economic Development Corporation (NSEDC) Board of Directors approved another special Community Benefit Share (CBS), $100,000 per community, to help offset the burden associated with the COVID-19 pandemic. The distribution will provide a total of $1.5 million in payments to NSEDC member communities in the Norton Sound region.
NSEDC typically declares an annual Community Benefit Share at its quarterly meeting held in November. This special CBS distribution is associated with offsetting the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, whether to supplement a loss in tax base, address local measures to stop the spread of the virus, or to directly benefit residents of the community by alleviating some of the hardships imposed by the impacts of the virus. Municipalities are required to hold a public meeting (which can be held via teleconference or virtually) to determine a budget for how the special distribution will be utilized. Potential for community input may be reduced due to the current social distancing mandates, but NSEDC encourages municipalities to seek input through other means, such as fliers, social media, or other methods of engaging residents.
“We want to help our communities prepare for whatever effects the COVID-19 pandemic may bring,” NSEDC Board Chairman Frank Katchatag said. “I’m very grateful NSEDC is in a financial position to bring expedited relief to our member communities.” Since 1999, the Community Benefit Share program has allocated more than $38.7 million in total to member communities, with each community receiving more than $2.58 million.
The special $100,000 Community Benefit Share follows the board’s decision in March to distribute a supplemental $575 NSEDC Energy Subsidy through a special Community Benefit Share in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Final energy subsidy payments totaling nearly $1.58 million have been made to each community’s electric utility provider. Each eligible household in the Norton Sound region received a total of $1,150 each in NSEDC Energy Subsidies in 2020.
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