Multi-agency effort coordinated to respond to rural needs
August 07, 2004
The Bush Caucus brought the bulk fuel issue to the Governor's attention during the special session ending June 24. Though the Legislature declined to add it to the session's call, the Governor promised he would find a solution to make sure villages receive the help they need to prepare for winter.
"We appreciate that the Governor has committed to working with us in a collaborative manner to make sure the communities in rural Alaska have sufficient fuel for the coming winter," said Representative Mary Kapsner.
The AEA, through the Bulk Fuel Revolving Loan Program has $4.5 million available to lend to villages. Villages not meeting the standards set by the BFRLP will be eligible for loans through a new program under development by the Department of Community & Economic Development.
Under the plan, each village will be required to enter into 3-year agreements with a third party for management and oversight of the community's bulk fuel program. The goal is to provide sound fiscal administration of the bulk fuel program, while empowering and equipping villages to assume management responsibility in the future.
The program also allows management groups and local communities to gain economies of scale for both fuel purchase and delivery. Qualifying partners for this program could be adjacent local or regional governments, regional corporations, and other not-for-profit entities.
"We are giving villages the tools they need to better manage their financial resources so that we can avoid this problem this year and in the future," said Governor Frank H. Murkowski.
"I very much appreciate the Governor's leadership on developing a long-term strategy for resolving fuel issues in our rural communities," said Senator Lyman Hoffman.
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