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'Every Little Bit Helps': Assembly OKs Measure Enabling 17 Nonprofits to Get State Funding

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The Fairbanks North Star Borough Assembly approved a measure Thursday that’ll enable nonprofit organizations around the borough to get funding from the state. The Assembly’s resolution certifies 17 nonprofits in the borough’s unincorporated communities that are eligible to receive money through the state Community Assistance Program.

“Like the Ester Fire Department, Ester Community Association,” says Borough mayor Chief of Staff Jim Williams. “Out in Salcha we’ve got the Salcha Fair Association, Salcha Fire and Rescue.”

Williams says the payments this year will range from about $5,000 to $15,000, depending on the number of nonprofits in those communities.

“They’re not earth-shattering amounts of money,” he said, “but every little bit helps for these nonprofits.”

Salcha Fair Association board President Christina Abel says her organization will use its 5-thousand-dollar payment from the state Community Assistance Program, or CAP, to fix up the community’s fairgrounds and help pay for its operation.

“The CAP program helps us pay for our electric and our insurance,” she said. “And we have maintenance that needs to be done and some repairs that we’ll be using that money for this year.”

Williams says state law sets the total amount of funding for unincorporated communities at about $15,800 each. He says that amount is split between all the nonprofits in that community. Salcha and Ester both have three qualifying nonprofits, so each will get just over 5-thousand apiece.

“Like Moose Creek has the North Star Volunteer Fire Department – they’ll get the full $15,789, because they’re the only nonprofit in that unincorporated community,” he said.

Williams says the Legislature bumped-up funding this year for the program, which was formerly known as state revenue sharing, from $30 million last year to $34 million this year. He says the borough will be getting about $1.5 million, down from $2 million last year.

“It’s down from last year,” he said, “but it’s more than we were expecting.”

He says the borough’s two incorporated communities, Fairbanks and North Pole, also will be getting Community Assistance Program funding.

Editor's note: This story was revised to correct the spelling of Christina Abel's name.

Tim has worked in the news business for over three decades, mainly as a newspaper reporter and editor in southern Arizona. Tim first came to Alaska with his family in 1967, and grew up in Delta Junction before emigrating to the Lower 48 in 1977 to get a college education and see the world.