improvements across Alaska
February 12, 2010
The stimulus funds went to 46 water and wastewater projects across the state and are now under contract ahead of the federal government's Feb. 17 deadline. Alaska is the first state in EPA's Region 10 to have all its stimulus funds committed ahead of the deadline.
"Many communities are struggling to begin or complete critical projects, especially in these difficult economic times. These stimulus funds are allowing communities to bolster infrastructure that ensures safe drinking water and proper sanitation for residents. They are also helping to create jobs," said DEC Commissioner Larry Hartig.
Ketchikan, Sitka, Fairbanks, Dillingham and Soldotna are among the Alaska communities seeing the immediate benefits of the funds.
"We are in the middle of renovating one of our well houses with the stimulus funding," said Steve Bonebrake, Soldotna public works director. "The best wall in that building used to have one inch of insulation, but when it is complete we will have six inches of sprayed foam insulation everywhere and R60 insulation in the ceiling. This will save us a ton of money on heating long term." He says local construction workers are also benefiting from the winter project.
The Recovery Act funds are being dispensed as low interest loans, some with unusually high subsidies requiring only ten percent or less of the original loan to be paid back. This arrangement makes some of the funds essentially a 90 percent grant.
"Communities around the state have worked hard to get their projects designed and out to contract in a very short timeframe," said Mike Lewis, DEC's program manager for Municipal Grants and Loans. "This compressed timeframe has been a challenge for all of us, but we are now seeing the results."
Alaska's list of communities (ordered alphabetically), projects and recovery act funds they received follow. At least 20 percent of projects will promote green practices such as water and energy efficiencies.
Alaska communities, projects and their share of American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds:
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