Anchorage, AK, Aug 07, 2012 -- USDA-RD Alaska State Director Jim Nordlund today announced that three USDA-RD Water & Environmental Programs’ Water and Waste Disposal Grants have been awarded to the remote Native villages of Selawik, Kipnuk and Scammon Bay, and a Water & Environmental Programs Pre-Development Planning Grant for Solid Waste awarded to the Native Village of Tanacross. Additionally, a Community Facilities Economic Impact Initiative Grant was awarded to the Yukon-Kuskokwim Health Corporation.
“The Water and Waste Disposal Grant funds will be used to purchase a D-4 dozer for the construction of a new landfill in Selawik and make improvements to Kipnuk’s honey bucket haul system. These three Native Alaskan villages are located off the standard road system, two are located in a persistent poverty area and all are in great need of this assistance,” said Nordlund.
Rural Development funds will be used to make improvements to the sanitation conditions in Scammon Bay. The purchase of a baler, trash bins, burn box, an ATV and Snow machine will allow for village collection and transport of solid waste.
Grant funds will also be used to provide a Preliminary Engineering Report and an Environment Report for the planning and pre-development stages of closing the current dumpsite and constructing a new landfill. The current dumpsite is at capacity and is located 80 feet from an actively eroding bank of the Tanana River; ¼ mile away from nearest residential buildings and ½ mile away from the center of town, posing significant contamination and health risks.
“The Economic Impact Initiative Grant funds will be used to purchase Emergency Medical Service (EMS) equipment under the “CODE BLUE” state initiative. This funding will assist two communities located in persistent poverty areas and provide EMS for a majority of Alaska Natives,” said USDA-RD Alaska Community Facilities Director Merlaine Kruse.
The individual grant amounts are as follows:
• Native Village of Selawik – $115,000
• Native Village of Kipnuk – $140,300
• Native Village of Scammon Bay – $102,500
• Native Village of Tanacross – $29,450
• Yukon-Kuskokwim Health Corporation – $23,600
President Obama's plan for rural America has brought about historic investment and resulted in stronger rural communities. Under the President's leadership, these investments in housing, community facilities, businesses and infrastructure have empowered rural America to continue leading the way – strengthening America's economy and strengthening small towns and rural communities.
USDA's investments in rural communities support the rural way of life that stands as the backbone of our American values. President Obama and Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack are committed to a smarter use of existing Federal resources to foster sustainable economic prosperity and ensure the government is a strong partner for businesses, entrepreneurs and working families in rural communities.
USDA, through its Rural Development mission area has an active portfolio of more than $170 billion in loans and loan guarantees. These programs are designed to improve the economic stability of rural communities, businesses, residents, farmers and ranchers and improve the quality of life in rural America.
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