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Southwest Alaska Municipal Conference

Newsletter - May 2021

May has been a very busy month for staff here at the SWAMC office. For weeks, we worked closely with our fellow Alaska Regional Development Organizations (ARDORs) to prepare and successfully testify on HB 192 re-authorizing the State of Alaska ARDOR program (it was extended for ten years!). We also helped host an Economic Development discussion with Senator Dan Sullivan, finalized financial and progress reporting for our federal grants, and submitted SWAMC's 2021-2024 application for our next three-year round of EDA Planning Grant funding. Along with tackling operations, staff and the Board of Directors also discussed and approved the FY2022 update to SWAMC's Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS) action plan and its goals, objectives, and strategies.

Anchorage has turned bright green overnight, and some of us have the allergies to prove it! In all, it has been a very productive month working on behalf of our members and we are ready to continue right into June. Remember, our door is always open if you are in Anchorage. We would love to see you. Call our office at 562-7380 or email us if you need assistance on just about anything. We will do our best to get you the information you're looking for.

Take care,

Shirley and Laura

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SWAMC is working on a project to develop an Economic Recovery & Resiliency Plan to help the region rebound from the pandemic's economic effects. This research will help us learn how our region was impacted by the pandemic – what worked, what didn’t, and what our communities might do differently in the future. As the first part of this project, we invite you to participate in our survey gauging the impact of COVID-19 on residents of Southwest Alaska.

Your participation is critical to the success of this work, so please take the survey and share this link with your friends, co-workers, and family members as well. It only takes about 10 minutes to complete and individual responses will be kept strictly confidential.

Still on the fence? At the end of the survey, respondents will have the option to enter a drawing to win one of eight (8) $50 Visa gift cards!

Take the Survey

Ouzinkie Selected for Energy Technical Assistance

The U.S. Department of Energy recently announced its work with remote and islanded communities around the United States. One of those communities -- Ouzinkie, located on Spruce Island off of Kodiak -- applied for and was selected to be a participant in a program called ETIPP (Energy Transitions Initiative Partnership Project). This was a competitive application process and Ouzinkie was successful along with 10 other communities in Alaska and other states including Hawaii, Maine, and North Carolina. 

The ETIPP program has been described as "Technical Assistance on steroids". “Ouzinkie’s engagement in this program will assist in visioning and planning for the next steps of creating an electrical grid and power source for the community which is long overdue” says Tyler Kornelis, Project Manager with the Kodiak Area Native Association, who assisted with the application process. Ouzinkie currently relies on diesel generators and an aging hydroelectric system to power their community but is looking to understand how they can optimize their use of renewables and storage.

-- Darren Muller Sr., SWAMC Board of Directors and Spruce Island Development Corp.

Read more about the ETIPP program and other selected projects across Alaska on the Renewable Energy Alaska Partnership (REAP) website, and on the Department of Energy website.

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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