Next week I go to Koyukuk, Alaska to help city and tribal staff advance their priority community projects. I’m really looking forward to it and hopeful that I’ll get to see the northern lights!
Koyukuk (pronounce KOY-yuh-kuck), is a community of around 100 people on the Yukon River about 300 air miles west of Fairbanks. I’ll be taking a small plane from Fairbanks to get there and it should take about three hours. It’s also November, so I’ll be packing plenty of warm layers!
Like many rural Alaska Native communities (and frankly all communities!), Koyukuk has limited resources to provide basic services. One of the main challenges they face is upkeep of the existing road system. They have about three miles of road in the community with many more trails during the winter connecting Koyukuk to nearby villages.
As you can imagine, keeping roads in good condition is a significant challenge in a place that experiences severe flooding and drastic temperature...
When I’m looking for inspiration on how to get a complicated project funded, I like to see how others funded their projects. This week we will look at funding opportunities for a historic city hall.
To be clear, city hall or other municipal-type buildings can be extremely difficult to secure grant funding. This is because it is expected that those expenses are covered by local government revenues. Occasionally though, you will have a unique case for getting your project funded, and that was the case for this project.
Instead of moving City Hall to the outskirts of the community with a new building, they were working to preserve and upgrade the historic building that originally housed city administration. This small community was known for valuing its historic assets and having a charming downtown.
Here are the ideas that I presented to them (back in 2017!):
Washington State Historical Society: Heritage Capital Projects Fund – This program is your best option for...