NSEDC awards more than $1.9 million awarded in grant funding and additional relief to commercial fisherman
NOME – The Norton Sound Economic Development Corporation (NSEDC) Board of Directors approved a Community Benefit Share of $200,000 per community, awarded seven grants to support Norton Sound communities, and voted to provide resident Norton Sound commercial salmon and crab fishers with another year of hardship payments in response to the lack of a crab fishery and the abysmal salmon returns in 2021.
NSEDC Community Benefit Share set at $200,000 per community in 2021
For the third consecutive year, the NSEDC Board of Directors voted to provide NSEDC’s 15 member communities with a $200,000 Community Benefit Share (CBS), distributing $3 million across the region. Since 1999, the CBS has dedicated $41.8 million total to member communities, with each community receiving more than $2.7 million cumulatively. As with previous distributions, public meetings will be held in each community to collect input for utilization of the $200,000 CBS.
NSEDC Board approves nearly $2 million in funding for community projects
The Board approved two grants from the Community Energy Fund, two grants 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 energy systems, large infrastructure, and water and sewer needs. Funding was also approved through the Growing Our Own Teachers Discretionary Grant, which supports the development of resident teachers to serve as educators in the Norton Sound region.
The individual grants, listed below, will support electrical work on homes in Wales, assistance in implementing a heat recovery system for several community buildings in Teller, construction of a new community development center for Mary’s Igloo Traditional Council, multi-purpose building renovations in Wales, assistance for a new washeteria in Stebbins, improvements to the water system in Nome, and the Growing Our Own Teachers initiative.
|NSEDC Program||Organization||Project||Award Amount|
|Community Energy Fund||Native Village of Wales||Electrical Upgrades||$420,890|
|Community Energy Fund||City of Teller||Heat Recovery System||$400,000|
|Large Infrastructure Fund||Mary’s Igloo Traditional Council||Community Development Center||$300,000|
|Large Infrastructure Fund||Native Village of Wales||Multi-Purpose Building Renovation||$300,000|
|Water and Sewer Fund||City of Stebbins||Transitional Washeteria||$100,000|
|Water and Sewer Fund||Nome Joint Utility Service||Moonlight Springs Pressurization||$358,892|
|Growing Our Own Teachers||Kawerak, Inc.||Growing Teachers in Head Start||$20,000|
NSEDC Board approves $2,500 hardship payment to regional commercial crab and salmon fishers
It was another devastating season for commercial fishers in the region. For the second consecutive year, a commercial crab fishery did not occur in Norton Sound while chum and Coho salmon returns again fell drastically short of expectations. Against this backdrop, the NSEDC Board of Directors approved a $2,500 hardship payment to resident commercial crab and salmon fishers to help offset the economic impact of no crab fishery and low salmon returns. To help ease the debt burden on those fishers with loan balances, the measure includes directing up to $500 of the payment to NSEDC loan repayments.
Those who received the hardship payment in 2020 will again be eligible for the payment in 2021, as long as they remained a Norton Sound resident and retained their salmon permit and/or remained invested in the Norton Sound red king crab fishery. New resident entrants to the salmon fishery will also be eligible for the payment.
NSEDC has submitted a number of requests to seek federal fishery disasters in relation to the past few seasons. A federal disaster declaration was made for the 2019 Norton Sound red king crab fishery. Requests are pending for the 2020 crab fishery and the 2020 commercial chum and Coho fisheries. NSEDC plans to make an additional request for a declaration related to the 2021 commercial chum and Coho fisheries.