Council begins Community Benefit Share allotments process
The Nome Common Council members picked up pie knives Monday night to get down to business serving up $167,000, this year’s Community Benefit Share provided by Norton Sound Economic Development Corp. to each of its 15 member villages.
About 20 charitable organizations, non-profits and one business, submitted requests totaling $253,340.83 to help support their programs to improve lives in Nome’s community. The Council’s job —through public input and open meetings — is to decide how to prioritize and pare the requests down to the $167,000 available.
A message from Janice Ivanoff, NSEDC’s president and CEO, reviewed NSEDC’s rules on distribution to the highest priorities through a public process at the municipal level via a regularly scheduled or other special community meeting.
“The funds should go to what the community and City Council believe are the highest priorities and best uses,” according to Ivanoff’s letter to Mayor Richard Beneville. “The City must report to NSEDC on how the funds will be used by submitting a letter, budget and the Nome Common Council minutes from the session at which CBS funds are approved.”
The Council plans at least one more work session Jan. 21 to decide the recipients and amounts of money to each in order to approve the list at the next regular Council meeting.
Here is a list of the applicants and the amounts they are seeking:
Iditarod, $10,000 (race sponsorship); Alaska Business Development Center, $1,500, (income tax returns and compliance with IRS rules for low to middle income persons); Nome Emergency Shelter Team (NEST), $3,000, (labor to connect existing kitchen range hood and commercial oven, commercial servicing); Nome Community Center-Children’s Home, $7,000, (materials for roof and building siding project); NCC- Food Bank, $5,000, (leveling of building and replacement of supporting beam); NCC-Boys and Girls Club, $15,000 (boiler and hot water system, monitoring cameras, ramp leveling and lumber replacement); NCC-Camp Crave, $10,000,(Camp fees, vehicle rental, food, program supplies, sweatshirts, award ceremonies parent dinner, for three summer camps in July and August); NCC-XYZ Center, $13,000 (kitchen cabinets, commercial dishwasher, stainless steel food prep tables, shipping and labor); NCC-Nome Youth Court, $5,000, (airfare to Anchorage, bus fare to Valdez, hotel, food for state conference—training, legislative updates, new practice models and creative opportunities); Iron Dog, $10,000, ($3,000 for second and third riders reaching Nome, remainder to help stage the race); Nome Animal House, $55,150, (funding for an x-ray machine for pets, lead vests, shipping, electrical upgrades construction costs); Nome Nordic, $8,000 (youth ski club sport with participation 100 kids last year. Group sells coffee and cleans up trash at snow dumps, beaches, seawall, Dry Creek and Teller Highway to raise funds. Not a school sport, all coaches work as volunteers, self-funded, not financially supported by Nome Public Schools; $5,000 for ski equipment, $3,000 for travel to state meet in Galena); Anvil City Science Academy, $7,700, (toward 8th grade class trip to Washington D. C. students have been fundraising for several years); PAWS, pet rescue, $5,840.83, (Kennels, supplies, pet food, cat enclosure, outdoors dog pen, rescue transport); Nome Public Schools, $30,000, (replace Nome Elementary School telephone system); Nome-Beltz Jr. High Washington D.C trip, $5,000, (assistance to meet costs of $67,528 to take 23 students to Washington D. C., students have been fundraising for themselves and for students whose families cannot pay out of pocket); Nome Preschool Association, Inc., $35,000, (to fund a teacher); Nome Cross Country Program, $1,350, (Nome Mountain Running Camp—van fuel, food, medical and safety supplies, camp t-shirts); Nome-Beltz Biology, $6,000, (gear for outdoor recreation during winter months); Bering Sea Women’s Group, $12,850, (replace and upgrade five windows in shelter against heat loss and for security and safety); Checkpoint Youth Center, $6,500, (food, heating fuel and utilities; provides hot and nutritious meals Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays to any students who need them); Nome Elementary Ski Club, $450, (purchase snacks and gloves for after school ski program);
Total of the “asks:” comes to $283,340.83
“There is a lot of need in our community and not a lot of places to appeal to meet it,” Councilwoman Jennifer Reader said. She suggested that the Council starts getting a handle on the list by funding first all the kids’ programs that came to $57,000, then work down through adult programs, community programs family programs and animal care, then look for alternate sources from NSEDC and see which needs, as the XYZ Center kitchen could move to the City’s budget.
The Council more or less agreed to take the suggestion to begin hashing out the allotment during another work session.