More than $413,000 also awarded in infrastructure funding; and relief payment to commercial fishermen
UNALAKLEET—At the 2020 Third Quarter Meetings the Norton Sound Economic Development Corporation (NSEDC) Board of Directors set a $200,000 Community Benefit Share per community, approved several grants to support NSEDC’s member communities, and voted to distribute a hardship payment to resident Norton Sound commercial crab and salmon fishermen for the closed commercial crab fishery and the poor salmon returns in 2020.
2020 NSEDC Community Benefit Share set at $200,000 per community
Once again, the NSEDC Board of Directors voted in favor of a $200,000 Community Benefit Share (CBS) for each of NSEDC’s 15 member communities, totaling $3 million region wide. Since 1999, the program has allocated more than $38.7 million in total to member communities, with each community receiving more than $2.58 million over the years. As in the past, each municipality will hold public meetings to discuss how the $200,000 CBS will be utilized, allowing for community input.
NSEDC Board approves $413,342 in funding for community projects
The Board approved one grant from the Large Infrastructure Fund and two grants from the Water and Sewer Fund. Each fund makes $1 million available to each member community for large infrastructure and water and sewer infrastructure needs. The grants, listed below, will assist the City of Unalakleet with converting a storage building into a working fire hall for the Unalakleet Volunteer Fire Department; the City of Elim’s upgrade of the water treatment plant and its boilers, as well as supplying the local Village Public Safety Officer building with water and sewer service; and surveying and planning and design for wastewater system improvements for the Native Village of Diomede.
|NSEDC Program||Organization||Project||Award Amount|
|Large Infrastructure Fund||City of Unalakleet||Quonset Hut Renovation||$243,342|
|Water and Sewer Fund||City of Elim||Sanitation Improvement Project||$120,000|
|Water and Sewer Fund||Native Village of Diomede||Waste & Wastewater
NSEDC Board approves $2,500 hardship payment to Norton Sound commercial crab and salmon fishermen
The 2020 commercial fishing season saw devastating results for Norton Sound commercial crab and salmon fishermen. The closure of the Norton Sound red king crab fishery, along with the abysmal salmon returns have had a major economic impact on the region’s fishermen. The NSEDC Board of Directors approved a $2,500 hardship payment to resident commercial salmon and crab fishermen in response to the crab closure and the poor salmon returns.
Norton Sound commercial crab fishermen who delivered harvests to Norton Sound Seafood Products (NSSP) in 2019 will receive the hardship payment, along with resident commercial salmon fishermen who remain current permit holders and delivered salmon to NSSP in 2020.
The payment follows the Board’s decision to approve loan relief options in the wake of poor salmon returns and the closed crab fishery. NSEDC has also submitted a request to Alaska Governor Mike Dunleavy to seek a federal fishery disaster for both the 2019 Norton Sound commercial red king crab fishery and the 2020 commercial chum and Coho fisheries.
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