The order will fund $19.4 million annually for rural Alaska communications over a ten-year time frame, through 2025.
“Any of them would be better than what we have… And it would cost less to do it yourself,” Mayor Blanche Okboak-Garnie said of three prototype water and sewer system demonstrations given at the WIHAH conference in Anchorage earlier this week.
Unalakleet will receive the largest single grant on the USDA Rural Development agency’s list totaling 6.6 million dollars. According to Larry Yerich, the public information coordinator for USDA Rural Development, the agency has invested more than $2 billion in rural Alaska since 2009.
Water and sewer infrastructure in rural Alaska will soon be under review by a new state advisory committee. House Bill 209, sponsored by Nome Representative Neal Foster, was signed into law on July 28th.
In the fall, Nicholai will start at the University of Alaska Anchorage. His goal is to teach Yup’ik language and culture in rural Alaska.
Last week, the Federal Subsistence Board voted to close Unit 23 to all but local caribou hunters. The closure will last for one year.
“You can tell a lot of people are very proud of their livelihood and where they live,” said Brian Adams.
“Things look promising — as best as they could,” said Superintendent Shawn Arnold. “As it is right now, education spending is fairly intact.”
Senator Donny Olson joined Republicans in the Senate majority last month, and with that move came funds for one more staffer.
With Alaska’s deficit nearing $4 billion, Foster says cuts are coming and they’ll have major repercussions for the Bering Strait Region.