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Southwest Alaska Municipal Conference

Newsletter - June 2021


June is in full swing and so is the much anticipated Salmon and Pollock B season. We are also welcoming visitors back to our region. This year we have the protection of some of the highest vaccination rates in the state and the partnership of a fishing industry that is building on its many successes from 2020. That is very good news as our summer fisheries are so critically important to our communities from Kodiak to Adak, and all points in-between. We are hoping for a successful and safe summer for everyone, residents and visitors alike.

The Alaska DOT has recently started designing the Alaska Statewide Long-Range Transportation Plan & Freight Plan, a long-term plan meant to guide transportation policy, the STIP process, investment, and projects for the next thirty years. It is an attempt to tie the different elements of the transportation of people and goods together to strengthen and support our many communities that are not on a road system, so it is very important that they hear from the SWAMC region if we are to be successfully incorporated into the larger statewide plan. We ask you to take the survey, to call into Legislative hearings, and to email our state representatives on a regular basis, because what you think matters! Southwest Alaska needs to be heard as this new long-term plan is developed, or we risk not being relevant in the process. This short survey will only take a few minutes to complete.

New movement on the Broadband front! The Department of Commerce's NTIA (National Telecommunications & Information Administration) announced nearly $1 Billion in funding to expand broadband on tribal land through the Tribal Broadband Connectivity Program. The Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) for the Program is out now and applications are due September 1, 2021. Funding can cover deployment of broadband infrastructure on tribal lands, including support for the establishment of carrier-neutral submarine cable landing stations; such infrastructure deployment projects may involve the construction of middle-mile or last-mile networks as well as interconnection. Applicants may propose projects that deploy new broadband infrastructure, replace antiquated infrastructure, or upgrade or extend existing infrastructure. For example, applicants may propose projects that utilize 2.5 GHz licenses or other licensed spectrum received from the FCC.

NTIA requires construction of networks that use commercial grade equipment that will meet current needs and be scalable to meet future needs. Infrastructure can include, but is not limited to, cable, fiber, wireless, fixed wireless, and satellite. Applicants may propose the technology or technologies that best meets tribal needs; however, NTIA encourages the submission of project proposals that deploy future-proof infrastructure to the extent feasible, e.g. fiber. If an applicant is not at the stage where it can submit a broadband construction project proposal, NTIA will accept project proposals to conduct planning, engineering, feasibility, or sustainability studies as part of the necessary steps to develop a technological solution for broadband deployment. Tribal Governments, Tribal Organizations, and Native Corporations are eligible entities and may apply individually or as a member of a Consortium which may be a simpler and more timely way to proceed. 

This is an amazing opportunity for Southwest Alaska and the September 1 application deadline is going to come up quick. Have questions? Need help with the application process? Interested in joining the Alaska Tribal Spectrum Consortium? Let us know! Call (907) 562-7380 or (907) 242-4077 or email smarquardt@swamc.org.


Take care,

Shirley and Laura

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This is a reminder that we are working on a project to develop an Economic Recovery & Resiliency Plan to help Southwest Alaska rebound from the economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. McKinley Research Group has been hired to help SWAMC develop this Plan, and the first step in this process is a region-wide survey. The information you share is vital to help us learn how our region was impacted by the pandemic – what worked, what didn’t, and what our communities might do differently to strengthen the region's ability to respond to future economic disruptions.

Your participation is critical to the success of this work. This short survey only takes about 10 minutes to complete and at the end of it you will have the option to enter into a drawing to win a $50 Visa gift card. Please make your voice heard and share this link with your friends, family members, and co-workers as well. To those who have already completed the survey - Thank You!

Take the Survey
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Peter Pan posts $1.10/lb for Bristol Bay Sockeye

Not only will Peter Pan Seafoods be offering a much higher base price than 2020's $0.75/lb, but the announcement came earlier than typical year's late July posts. Other processors are likely to follow suit.

Read More

Have an announcement or story to share with the region?

Let us know! We may be able to include it in our next newsletter.

Call (907) 562-7380 or email lvaught@swamc.org.


  • Shirley Marquardt, Executive Director
  • Laura Vaught, Economic Development Specialist
  • Brooks Duncan, AmeriCorps VISTA Volunteer

SWAMC Board of Directors

  • Paul Gronholdt - President
  • Terry Haines - Vice President
  • Mary Swain - Treasurer
  • Layton Lockett
  • Julie Kavanaugh
  • Myra Olsen
  • Dennis Robinson
  • Mayor Alice Ruby
  • Darren Muller
  • Joe Sullivan
  • Glen Gardner, Jr.

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