Recent meetings also yield $172,258 in Community Energy Fund projects for Diomede and Elim
UNALAKLEET—The Norton Sound Economic Development Corporation (NSEDC) Board of Directors continued their commitment to invest in member communities at their recent 2018 Fourth Quarter meetings in Nome in February. The board voted to increase the NSEDC Scholarship amount from $2,500 to $3,500 per semester or training. They also voted to distribute $172,258 in total to energy programs in Little Diomede and Elim. And, in response to recent search and rescue efforts, the NSEDC Board also approved the purchase of an underwater drone, or Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV).
The NSEDC Community Benefits Department and Community Liaisons continue signing up residents for the 2019 NSEDC Energy Subsidy. The Energy Subsidy makes $575 available toward electric utility bills for every household in NSEDC’s member communities.
NSEDC Scholarship amount increases from $2,500 to $3,500 per semester
With rising post-secondary education costs the NSEDC Board of Directors voted to increase the per-semester scholarship amount from $2,500 to $3,500 for qualifying secondary education students. The increase will be seen by students beginning in the 2019 fall semester.
“NSEDC, from its beginning, has been supportive of residents who seek post-secondary education,” NSEDC Scholarship Committee Chair Sara Seetot said. “Whether residents attend vocational school or a university, NSEDC remains committed to contributing to the success of students. We very much realize the success of our students leads to successful and healthy communities.”
For in-region, part-time students, NSEDC offers a pro-rated amount. Currently, the amount is $208.33 per credit. The increased amount will be $291.66 per credit hour.
Since 1992, NSEDC has awarded $10.7 million in scholarships to Norton Sound residents.
NSEDC to purchase a Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) for search and rescue purposes
With NSEDC member communities located on the ocean or a river, many search and rescue operations in the region involve water, and frequently the search is complicated by the presence of ice. The NSEDC Board of Directors requested the acquisition of an underwater drone, or Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV), which will be purchased to be available to all member communities.
NSEDC will purchase a high-quality ROV and will pay for shipment of the ROV for searches. NSEDC will also cover costs for regional search and rescue personnel to be trained in the operation of the underwater drone.
“With the warming winters it seems our communities are seeing a growing number of through-the-ice search and rescue operations,” NSEDC Board Chair Dan Harrelson said. “My own community recently experienced the loss of an experienced outdoorsman. It will be a huge assurance for our SAR teams to be provided with the most advanced tools available for search and rescue operations, especially when time is of the essence.”
NSEDC Board approves $172,258 for projects from the Community Energy Fund
The board approved fund requests for two projects under the Community Energy Fund. The Native Village of Diomede requested $117,258 for the purchase, shipping and installation of Toyostoves and fuel drums for 28 homes in Little Diomede. The Native Village of Elim was awarded $55,000 for upgrades and improvements to the Elim Water Utility to modernize the boilers and replace the leaking and inefficient pipes and pumps, thereby reducing energy consumption to operate the utility.
Understanding the high cost of energy in rural Alaska, the NSEDC Board of Directors allocates $1 million to each member community under the Community Energy Fund. The funding is available for projects established that contribute to long-term solutions that decrease the high costs of energy. Eligible applicants are local utility providers, municipal governments, ANCSA Village Corporations or federally recognized tribal governments and must be located in one of NSEDC’s member communities.
NSEDC continues signing up residents for the 2019 Energy Subsidy
Residents who missed sign-up events for the 2019 NSEDC Energy Subsidy still have time to apply for the $575 credit to their electric utility account before the March 20th deadline. Those living off the electrical grid have the opportunity for a $575 heating fuel credit to the fuel vendor in their community.
“NSEDC continues to provide assistance to residents leading up to the busiest time of the year, and after the longest days of winter,” Dan Harrelson said. “Through hard work, keen decision making and guidance from staff, NSEDC remains in a strong financial position to provide assistance like the energy subsidy to every household in the region.”
To apply for the $575 NSEDC Energy Subsidy, visit an NSEDC office in your community or contact your community liaison.
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