CIP Projects: A Lesson in the CIP State Funding Process
Do you recall that seven months ago we had a voting bulletin at the hangar for prioritizing Igiugig’s Capital Improvement Project (CIP) Requests? The community had a chance to mention projects they thought the village needed, or vote on the top 5 projects that administration should pursue. Well, those projects were then adopted by resolution to be Igiugig’s priorities. This year we submitted two small requests 1) water distribution line improvements, 2) Emergency Response Vehicle Building. The Borough also submitted, on our behalf, for a wind feasibility study of $80,000. The Borough, working in conjunction with IVC, submits the projects into the state database. The next phase is to write letters of support to representatives in the House and Senate. Once the projects survive vetoes from both houses, it lands on the desk of the Governor. Another letter of support gets submitted to the Governor and Director of Office of Management and Budget and thank-you notes get sent to the legislators for supporting the projects. And then we wait. Many times, our projects do not make the cut. But this year, it looks like we were spared and should receive $40,000 for ERVB and $80,000 for the wind feasibility study. Funds will be available after July 1st when the state fiscal year 2015 begins. So by the time we are confirmed for funding of one project, it is nearly time to start prepping to request the next!
The paperwork world is sometimes a spiritually, socially, and mentally draining one. The strings attached to some of our tribal operations (being government funded) are relentless. It consumes about 80% of my time at IVC. But on the other hand, I have the opportunity to attend more lively events such as the International Conference of Indigenous Libraries, Archives, and Museums. This one was in Palm Springs, California.
A Library Work-Vacation
Tanya and I spent June 10-12 at the Palm Springs Convention Center learning about tribal libraries and cultural programs across the country. In particular, I was interested in learning about successful indigenous language programs, place name projects, and the work involved in establishing cultural centers. Tanya’s article will cover some of the conference highlights.
We landed in Los Angeles, rented a car, and drove to Santa Monica beach to meet Jerry Liboff’s brother Marty. We walked to the beach where he talked about growing up with Jerry, and how the landscape had been dramatically changed over the decades, neighborhoods torn down to make room for new construction, high rise condominiums, and perfectly manicured beach settings complete with lush lawns, palms, swept beaches, etc. We talked about the way it must have looked like a century ago.
Imagine being a California Native who no longer has access to ancestral homelands, or that homelands have been so strikingly altered that they no longer represent the environment that your indigenous language arose from. The animals, birds, landscapes embodied in song, dance, and story no longer exist. What would that be like? It is an alarming reminder of how very special Igiugig, Alaska is and how fortunate we are to wake up each day to drink pure water and smell fresh air. Naturally everything changes over time, at least where we live, it is on a pace that we can keep up with! Overall, we loved our work vacation to California, but it made us even that much more appreciative of home.
Energy Intensive Events
The rest of my time has been consumed by our renewable energy initiatives. I provided a few remarks at the Ocean Renewable Power Company unveiling of the RivGen Unit in Anchorage on May 28th. I attended an Alaska Center for Energy and Power (ACEP) bi-annual meeting in Fairbanks on June 3. And have spent many hours on teleconferences about the River In -Stream Energy Project that is underway as I type! You can learn about each device company and their plans for Igiugig in this newsletter: Boschma Research Inc., and Ocean Renewable Power Company.
Have a Safe and Memorable Summer!