ANCHORAGE, Alaska, Dec. 19, 2022 – U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development State Director Julia Hnilicka announced today that USDA is investing $11.8 million to expand access to water and waste infrastructure and rehabilitate homes for underserved people who live and work in rural Alaska.
“Rural Development is continually working through investment in our local communities to address fundamental needs across Alaska,” said State Director Hnilicka. “Safe drinking water, secure housing, and gainful employment are pillars of thriving communities. Here at Rural Development we are proud to invest in our Alaskan communities and peoples.
Today’s announcement includes 22 projects to ensure that people living in rural Alaska have equitable access to the infrastructure and economic opportunities they deserve. Examples include:
In Rampart, Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium will use a $1,271,140 Rural Alaskan Village Grantprovide individual wells, wastewater treatment systems and interior plumbing to eight homes. The residential sewage treatment plant units will include insulated heavy-duty plastic wastewater tanks with three-stage wastewater treatment systems on a timber foundation outside the homes.
In the Native Village of Akiachak, Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium will use a $250,000 Housing Preservation Grant to replace home foundations for fourteen very low-income. Akiachak, population 660, is on the west bank of the Kuskokwim River in the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta, 18 miles northeast of Bethel. The community is in the Yukon Delta National Wildlife Refuge. The topography of the lower Kuskokwim River is fairly flat tundra interspersed with rivers, sloughs, ponds and marshes. The riverbank is used for boat access, snowmachine and ATV access, barge access, boat storage, fishing and hunting, processing catch, and driftwood collecting. Periodic high river flow and water level fluctuations, flooding, ice jams, spring break up, and melting permafrost contribute to erosion and the need for foundation replacements.
In Utqiaġvik, Ilisagvik Tribal College will use a $348,017 Tribal College Initiative Grant to procure equipment for training students to drive Class B vehicles, like school buses or trucks 26,001 pounds or more and transporting a trailer up to 10,000 pounds. Part of this investment will also be used to plan for the construction of a new campus.
Today’s announcements are part of a larger national announcement detailing $102 million invested in similar projects nationwide. To read about all 22 Alaska projects view additional information online.
Under the Biden-Harris Administration, USDA Rural Development provides loans and grants to help expand economic opportunities, create jobs and improve the quality of life for millions of Americans in rural areas. This assistance supports infrastructure improvements; business development; housing; community facilities such as schools, public safety and health care; and high-speed internet access in rural, tribal and high-poverty areas. For more information, visit www.rd.usda.gov/ak.
USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer and lender.