Denali Commission Five Year Strategic Plan (2005-2009) and Fiscal Year 2006 Work Plan, 28283-28292 [05-9768]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 70, No. 94 / Tuesday, May 17, 2005 / Notices Council address: New England Fishery Management Council, 50 Water Street, Mill 2, Newburyport, MA 01950. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Paul J. Howard, Executive Director, New England Fishery Management Council; telephone: (978) 465–0492. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The Oversight Committee will receive a preliminary report on the updated scallop stock assessment and an Advisory Panel report on prioritization of management issues for a framework adjustment. The Committee will identify the types of actions that the Council should consider for Framework Adjustment 18 (FW 18), which will set specifications and make management adjustments for the 2006 and 2007 fishing years. In addition, the Committee will discuss whether more immediate action is needed in 2005 to address changes in the resource condition, including those in the Hudson Canyon Area. FW 18 alternatives may include, but are not limited to the following general management measures: triggered adjustments to annual allocations and area closures through Notice Action; General Category fishery management; bag tags and standard bags (landings monitoring and compliance); allocations for vessels with small dredge permits; research proposal review process; research priorities; and fishing year alignment and framework adjustment frequency. In addition, the Committee may consider the following changes for the controlled access areas: rotation management fishing mortality targets by area; allocations of trips or pounds in controlled access areas; Hudson Canyon Area rotation management area policy; Elephant Trunk Area allocations for 2007; crew limits in controlled access areas; IFQ allocations in controlled access areas; sector allocations (harvest cooperatives or other entities); temporary transferability/stacking of controlled access allocations; improvements in the broken trip exemption program, and seasonal access to minimize bycatch and effects on spawning (Georges Bank access areas and Elephant Trunk Area in 2007). The Committee may also consider setting hard or target total allowable catch limits (TAC) for open fishing areas. Their recommendations will be presented to the Council at the initial FW 18 meeting in June 2005. Although non-emergency issues not contained in this agenda may come before this group for discussion, those issues may not be the subject of formal action during this meeting. Action will VerDate jul<14>2003 15:22 May 16, 2005 Jkt 205001 be restricted to those issues specifically listed in this notice and any issues arising after publication of this notice that require emergency action under section 305(c) of the Magnuson-Stevens Act, provided the public has been notified of the Council’s intent to take final action to address the emergency. Special Accommodations This meeting is physically accessible to people with disabilities. Requests for sign language interpretation or other auxiliary aids should be directed to Paul J. Howard (see ADDRESSES) at least 5 days prior to the meeting dates. Dated: May 12, 2005. Tracey L. Thompson, Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service. [FR Doc. E5–2460 Filed 5–16–05; 8:45 am] 28283 Any member of the public wishing further information concerning this meeting or wishing to submit written comments may contact: Mr. James R. Schwenk, Designated Federal Official, Department of Defense Office of the General Counsel, 1600 Defense Pentagon, Arlington, Virginia 20301–1600, Telephone: (703) 697–9343, Fax: (703) 693–7616, schwenkj@dodgc.osd.mil. Interested persons may submit a written statement for consideration by the Panel at any time prior to June 10, 2005. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Dated: May 12, 2005. L.M. Bynum, Alternate OSD Federal Register Liaison Officer, Department of Defense. [FR Doc. 05–9819 Filed 5–16–05; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 5001–06–M BILLING CODE 3510–22–S DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE DENALI COMMISSION Office of the Secretary Denali Commission Five Year Strategic Plan (2005–2009) and Fiscal Year 2006 Work Plan Meeting of the Independent Review Panel To Study the Relationships Between Military Department General Counsels and Judge Advocates General—Open Meeting Department of Defense. Notice. AGENCY: ACTION: SUMMARY: Pursuant to the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA), Public Law 96–463, notice is hereby given that the Independent Review Panel to Study the Relationships between Military Department General Counsels and Judge Advocates General will hold an open meeting at the Hilton Crystal City, 2399 Jefferson Davis Highway, Arlington, Virginia 22202, on June 1–2, 2005, from 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. and 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Purpose: The Panel will meet on June 1–2, 2005, from 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., in order to hear testimony from current and former senior Defense Department officials concerning the relationships between the legal elements of their respective Military Departments. These sessions will be open to the public, subject to the availability of space. In keeping with the spirit of FACA, the Panel welcomes written comments concerning its work from the public at any time. Interested citizens are encouraged to attend the sessions. DATES: June 1–2, 2005: 8:30 a.m.–11:30 a.m., and 1 p.m.–4 p.m. Location: Hilton Crystal City, 2399 Jefferson Davis Highway, Arlington, Virginia 22202. PO 00000 Frm 00015 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 Introduction The Denali Commission Act of 1998 (Title III, Pub. L. 105–277, 42 U.S.C. 3121) created a State-Federal partnership to address crucial needs of rural Alaskan communities, particularly isolated Native villages and other communities lacking access to the national highway system, affordable power, adequate health facilities and other impediments to economic self sufficiency. Guided by five Commissioners representing statewide non-governmental organizations, the unprecedented results to date testify to the efficacy of inter-agency teamwork, effective training, and the setting of high sustainability standards by those closest to the problems at hand. The Commission is a highly effective catalyst for enhanced collaboration among Federal, State, tribal and local governments as well as private sector, non-profit and other interests. The over arching goal of enabling economic self sufficiency is based on effective community comprehensive planning, and regional support. This document will guide the reader through: • An introduction of the Denali Commission’s purposes and mission. • The Denali Commission’s Work Plan for Fiscal Year 2005. • The Five-year strategic plan. Denali Commission, Jeffrey Staser, Federal Co-Chair, 510 L Street, Suite 410, Anchorage, Alaska 99501, Phone: E:\FR\FM\17MYN1.SGM 17MYN1 28284 Federal Register / Vol. 70, No. 94 / Tuesday, May 17, 2005 / Notices (907) 271–1414, Fax: (907) 271–1415, http://www.denali.gov. Purpose of the Commission The Denali Commission Act of 1998, as amended (Division C, Title III, Pub. L. 105–277) states that the purposes of the Denali Commission are: To deliver the services of the Federal government in the most cost-effective manner practicable by reducing administrative and overhead costs. To provide job training and other economic development services in rural communities, particularly distressed communities (many of which have a rate of unemployment that exceeds 50 percent). To promote rural development, provide power generation and transmission facilities, modern communication systems, bulk fuel storage tanks, water and sewer systems and other infrastructure needs. Vision Alaska will have a healthy, welltrained labor force working in a diversified and sustainable economy that is supported by a fully developed and well-maintained infrastructure. Mission The Denali Commission will partner with tribal, Federal, State, and local governments and collaborate with all Alaskans to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of government services, to develop a well-trained labor force employed in a diversified and sustainable economy, and to build and ensure the operation and maintenance of Alaska’s basic infrastructure. Values Catalyst for Positive Change—The Commission will be an organization through which agencies of government, including tribal governments, may collaborate guided by the people of Alaska, to aggressively do the right things in the right ways. Respect for People and Cultures—The Commission will be guided by the people of Alaska in seeking to preserve the principles of self-determination, respect for diversity, and consideration of the rights of individuals. Inclusive—The Commission will provide the opportunity for all interested parties to participate in decisionmaking and carefully reflect their input in the design, selection, and implementation of programs and projects. Sustainability—The Commission will promote programs and projects that meet the current needs of communities VerDate jul<14>2003 15:22 May 16, 2005 Jkt 205001 and provide for the anticipated needs of future generations. Accountability—The Commission will set measurable standards of effectiveness and efficiency for both internal and external activities. Goals The goals generated by the strategic planning process define conditions that must be created to realize the Denali Commission Vision. 1. All Alaska, no matter how isolated, will have the physical infrastructure necessary to protect health and safety and to support self-sustaining economic development. 2. Local residents in Alaskan communities will be provided the opportunity to acquire the skills and knowledge necessary to be employed on the construction, operation and management jobs created by publicly funded physical infrastructure in their communities. 3. Alaskans will have access to financial and technical resources necessary to build a cash economy to supplement the existing subsistence economy. 4. Federal and State agencies will simplify procedures, share information, and improve coordination to ensure equitable delivery of services to all Alaskan communities. Implementation Guiding Principles • Projects must be sustainable. To assist with the implementation of this principle, an Investment Strategy has been drafted to ensure that the level of funding provided by the Denali Commission to infrastructure projects in small, declining and/or environmentally threatened communities serves a public purpose and is invested in the most conscientious and sustainable manner possible. (The Investment Strategy is available on the Denali Commission Web site: http://www.denali.gov.) • The Denali Commission will generally not select individual projects for funding nor manage individual projects, but will work through existing State, Federal or other appropriate organizations to accomplish its mission. • Projects in economically distressed communities will have priority for Denali Commission assistance. • Projects should be compatible with local cultures and values. • Projects that provide substantial health and safety benefit, and/or enhance traditional community values, will generally receive priority over those that provide more narrow benefits. • Projects should be communitybased and regionally supported. • Projects should have broad public involvement and support. Evidence of PO 00000 Frm 00016 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 support might include endorsement by affected local government councils (municipal, tribal, IRA, etc.), participation by local governments in planning and overseeing work, and local cost sharing on an ‘‘ability to pay’’ basis. • Priority will generally be given to projects with substantial cost sharing. • Priority will generally be given to projects with a demonstrated commitment to local hire. • Denali Commission funds may supplement existing funding, but will not replace existing Federal, State, local government, or private funding. • The Denali Commission will give priority to funding needs that are most clearly a Federal responsibility. • Denali Commission funds will not be used to create unfair competition with private enterprise. Additional Guiding Principles for Infrastructure: • A project should be consistent with a comprehensive community or regional plan. • Any organization seeking funding assistance must have a demonstrated commitment to operation and maintenance of the facility for its design life. This commitment would normally include an institutional structure to levy and collect user fees if necessary, to account for and manage financial resources, and having trained and certified personnel necessary to operate and maintain the facility. Additional Guiding Principles for Economic Development: • Priority will be given to projects that enhance employment in high unemployment areas of the State (economically distressed), with emphasis on sustainable, long-term local jobs or career opportunities. • Projects should be consistent with statewide or regional plans. • The Denali Commission may fund demonstration projects that are not a part of a regional or statewide economic development plan if such projects have significant potential to contribute to economic development. Additional Guiding Principles for Training: • Training should increase the skills and knowledge of local residents to become employed on jobs created by the Government’s investment in public facilities in a community. Intergovernmental Coordination—The Memorandum of Understanding: The Denali Commission Act recognizes that our mission can be accomplished only through a collaborative, coordinated effort by the State of Alaska and key Federal agencies. The State of Alaska also recognizes benefits can be furthered if E:\FR\FM\17MYN1.SGM 17MYN1 28285 Federal Register / Vol. 70, No. 94 / Tuesday, May 17, 2005 / Notices State agencies work in a collaborative and coordinated effort. With this in mind, Denali Commission has drawn up a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), which more than 20 agencies have agreed to, that outlines some points of agreement that will facilitate the collaboration and coordination necessary for achievement of the purposes of the Denali Commission and related missions of agencies who are parties to the MOU. The points of the MOU are: • Sustainability. Federal and State agencies recognize the importance of utilizing sustainability principles when investing in public infrastructure projects. • Regional Strategies. Systematic planning and coordination on a local, regional and statewide basis are necessary to achieve the most effective results from investment in infrastructure, economic development, and training. • Community Plans. A single community strategic plan should be sufficient to identify and establish the priorities of each rural community. • Sharing Information. Sharing information increases efficiencies and decreases duplication of services by State and Federal agencies. • Economic Development. Economic development facilitates and supports the growth of self-sufficient communities. • Non-Profit Organizations and Other Community Organizations. Non-profit and other organizations in Alaska are a • Infrastructure .................................................................................................................. • Economic Development ................................................................................................. • Job Training, Education, Capacity Building ................................................................... In Fiscal Year 2006, the Denali Commission will continue to collaborate with other funding agencies and with all impacted and interested parties to address identified needs on a priority basis. The President’s FY06 Budget states that Denali Commission will receive $2,562,000 through the Energy & Water Development Appropriations Act. In addition, the Commission expects to receive approximately $4 million in valuable resource for State and Federal agencies. They provide regional planning, program support and partnering opportunities. • Workforce Development (Vocational and Career Training). Workforce development is a critical component to building sustainable public infrastructure and self-sufficient communities in Alaska. Fiscal Year 2006 Work Plan The Commission has determined that the scope and scale of infrastructure issues facing rural Alaska are staggering. The total of known basic infrastructure needs for Alaskan communities is estimated to be over $13 billion. These infrastructure needs include: —Housing Construction/Development —Multi-use Facilities —Power Utilities —Bulk Fuel Storage —Drinking Water and Wastewater Facilities —Solid Waste Management Facilities —Health Care Facilities —Airport Facilities —Road and Trail Construction —Port, Dock and other Marine Facilities —Telecommunications —Community Facilities —Comprehensive Planning —Comprehensive Planning interest from the Trans Alaska Pipeline Liability (TAPL) fund. Prioritization of Projects for FY06 Of necessity, the Commission’s work must be phased over a number of years based on the urgency of competing needs and availability of funding. The theme of rural energy, as one important prerequisite to all other utilities and economic development, was selected as the Commission’s top priority for infrastructure funding. Primary health care facilities were identified as the second infrastructure theme for the Commission beginning in FY00. These two themes will continue to be the top priorities for infrastructure funds through FY06, and the Commission, consistent with Congressional intent, may add one or more additional themes. For planning purposes, the Commission has allocated a total of $6,562,000 for FY06 as follows: FY06 projected funding TAPL interest funds FY06 & TAPL combined Bulk Fuel Storage Facilities ..................................................................................................................... Operations ............................................................................................................................................... $2,562,000 $3,800,000 200,000 $3,800,000 2,762,000 Total .................................................................................................................................................. 2,562,000 4,000,000 6,562,000 In accordance with the Denali Commission Code, Administrative funds (5%) are solely the responsibility of the Federal Co-Chairman. Allocation of the balance of funds (95%) will be made by the full Denali Commission, utilizing the guiding principles previously outlined in this document, and priority systems designed specifically for each budget category. VerDate jul<14>2003 15:22 May 16, 2005 Jkt 205001 Project implementation will generally be accomplished through State, local or Federal government entities, regulated utilities, or non-profit organizations. It shall be the responsibility of all such implementing organizations to comply with all applicable laws. Any special requirements will be articulated in the funding agreement between the Denali Commission and the funding recipient. PO 00000 Frm 00017 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 The MOU will serve to guide intergovernmental coordination and collaboration among agencies. Projects resulting from funding of infrastructure themes generally are consistent with high priorities identified in community plans. The existence of community plans greatly facilitates the location, design, and completion of E:\FR\FM\17MYN1.SGM 17MYN1 28286 Federal Register / Vol. 70, No. 94 / Tuesday, May 17, 2005 / Notices Competitive Sourcing infrastructure projects within a community. Performance Indicators for FY 2006 Energy: • Reduce the backlog of noncompliant bulk fuel storage facilities in rural Alaska by renovating or building a bulk fuel storage facility in 2 communities. Financial and Technical Resources: • Produce reliable and timely performance and other financial information from the financial management system for managing current operations. • Prepare accurate and timely financial reports on Budget Execution in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles and meeting the requirements of the Office of Management and Budget and U.S. Treasury. • Maintain administrative expenses of Denali Commission at 5 percent or less of appropriated funds. Government Coordination: • Hold Denali Commission partners to the lowest reasonable overhead costs needed to complete projects. Work Toward the President’s Management Agenda: President George W. Bush has set forth a strategy to improve management of the Federal government through government-wide goals in five mutually reinforcing areas: —Human Capital. —Competitive Sourcing. —Improved Financial Management. —Expanded e-Government. —Budget and Performance Integration. The Denali Commission is making progress in these strategic areas in the following ways: Human Capital The Denali Commission attempts to be innovative in its recruitment and retention of staff. With a small permanent staff and ‘‘on-loan’’ staff from partner agencies and organizations, the Denali Commission has a flat organization chart, making it simple for customers to reach the staff they need to and get the answers they require, through electronic messaging, telephone, or in-person. An additional advantage of a small organization is the ease of managing the accurate measurement and appropriate rewarding of staff for performance. Denali Commission utilizes many human capital investment-oriented strategies for retaining qualified and effective staff, such as preventive health programs, and appropriate training. VerDate jul<14>2003 15:22 May 16, 2005 Jkt 205001 As a very small agency headquarters, the Denali Commission is highly motivated, by necessity, to comply with this initiative. Although formal assessments have not been carried out on the competitive sourcing opportunities, the Denali Commission regularly utilizes contractors and private enterprise for many of our tasks. Examples include; development of innovative database and accounting systems, computer maintenance, and document scanning services. Improved Financial Management Five of the Denali Commission permanent staff are responsible for all operations and finance. Limited to 5 percent overhead, the agency has, and will continue to, enthusiastically participate and pursue automation and forward-thinking technology whenever possible. Through advances in technology, Denali Commission continues to realize internal efficiencies and increases in effectiveness. To keep pace with the GovernmentWide-Accounting (GWA) initiative, a new accounting system was developed in FY04. The Commission utilizes the Veterans Affairs (VA) Financial Services Enterprise Center as consultants on this project. This accounting system maintains the highest quality of accuracy in reporting to OMB, Congress and the public. Staff is working, in conjunction with other Federal agencies, to accomplish automation to the extent feasible, with Federal Treasury payment and collection systems (IPAC, ASAP and SPS). We are currently a pilot test site for the Internet Payment Platform (IPP) which is being developed by Treasury for the efficient and timely payment of vendors. Expanded e-Government The Denali Commission is committed to managing our projects more effectively and more transparently to partners, customers and the public. The Denali Commission Project Database is a significant step in this direction. The Denali Commission Project Database, now operational on our Web site, is an initiative that permeates several of the five strategic areas of the President’s Management Agenda. To enhance project management and information sharing with our partners and the public, the Denali Commission has developed an Internet-based database of all Commission projects. This tool is for tracking and managing Denali Commission and partner project data. PO 00000 Frm 00018 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 The database is built to provide information that is easy to use, has the highest degree of integrity and maintainability, and is accessible for all interested parties. In keeping with the Denali Commission mission, the system allows for collaboration to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of government services. Within the database, managers and grantees perform on-line reporting; provide project financial information, project photos and other information on all Commission funded projects. Also available within the database are priority lists of projects yet to be funded in communities across Alaska. Across the State of Alaska, Federal, State and local entities (including regional nonprofits, health corporations, and tribal governments) share a vision for developing a shared, central database (or portal) to further improve the transparency of government. The Denali Commission now has an active link to our agency Web site located on http://www.FirstGov.gov to help citizens find information and obtain services from that central location. We are working to place Denali Commission grant opportunities on the http://www.Grants.gov Web site as well. Additional e-Government projects that the Denali Commission is monitoring and will participate in include e-Travel and e-Authentication. To maximize IT partnerships (and coordination) with other Federal agencies, the Denali Commission works with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and Department of the Interior (DOI) to support our local computer network. Our commitment to internet and electronic payment and collection systems is hailed by our vendors and customers, especially in this large State with sometimes slow and unpredictable mail and telephone (Internet) services. These systems assist with streamlining and ensuring timely and accurate transactions. As we build and develop strong IT infrastructure at the Denali Commission, we maintain a high level of vigilance that proper and adequate security is set in place. Our plan for IT development always includes an assessment of value to the public, avoidance of duplication and the goal of transparency and accountability. Budget and Performance Integration The Denali Commission, by legislation, is limited to 5 percent overhead/administrative rate. So, 95 percent of our funds go directly into making progress toward our vision: Alaska will have a healthy, well-trained labor force working in a diversified and E:\FR\FM\17MYN1.SGM 17MYN1 Federal Register / Vol. 70, No. 94 / Tuesday, May 17, 2005 / Notices sustainable economy that is supported by a fully developed and well-maintained infrastructure. The Denali Commission has set in motion the tools to assist the staff in measuring performance—the Project Database and the new accounting system We require our grantees to establish and meet milestones, and we publish those on the Project Database. We set goals at an agency level for construction projects reaching completion each year. That is the bottom line that will improve the lives of the residents of Alaska. And we set internal benchmarks for the quality and efficiency of services provided to our customers. That keeps the Denali Commission staff on track in prioritizing individuals’ work time. We measure ourselves against these standards constantly and check on them as a team monthly. Strategic Plan—2005 Through 2009 Challenges to Development and Economic Self-Sufficiency in Alaska Geography/Climate—The State of Alaska encompasses twenty percent of the landmass of the United States, encompassing 5 climatic zones from the arctic desert to moderate rain forests in the south. Isolation—Approximately 220 Alaskan communities are accessible only by air or small boat. Some village communities are separated by hundreds of miles from the nearest regional hub community or urban center. The average community is over 1,000 miles from the state capital. Unemployment—The economy of rural Alaska is a mix of government or government-funded jobs, natural resource extraction and traditional Native subsistence activities. Many rural Alaskans depend on subsistence hunting, fishing and gathering for a significant portion of their foods, but also depend on cash income to provide the means to pursue subsistence activities. Cash-paying employment opportunities in rural Alaska are scarce and are highly seasonal in many areas; unemployment rates exceed 50 percent in 147 communities. High Cost and Low Standard of Living—Over 180 communities suffer 28287 from inadequate sanitation or a lack of safe drinking water. Residents face high electric costs: 61 cents per kilowatt-hour for electricity in a few communities (average in rural Alaska is approximately 40 cents per kilowatthour which is over six times the National average of 6.75 cents) even with State subsidies. The Commission determined that the scope and scale of infrastructure issues facing rural Alaska are staggering. Assessment of needs and refinement of estimates will be an ongoing process. The total of known infrastructure needs is estimated to be over $13 billion. Training and economic development needs have not been quantified, but the unmet needs in these areas are also believed to be quite large. Consequently, it is imperative that efforts to address the most essential needs be both focused and strategic. Funding category Category/class Infrastructure ......................................................... Housing Construction/Development ..................... Power Utilities ....................................................... Bulk Fuel Storage ................................................. Drinking Water and Wastewater Facilities ........... Solid Waste Management Facilities ..................... Primary Health Care Facilities ............................. Other Health Facilities .......................................... Airport Facilities .................................................... Road Construction ................................................ Port Facilities ........................................................ Telecommunications ............................................. Community Facilities ............................................ Other ..................................................................... 1,800,000,000 300,800,000 362,500,000 650,000,000 Unknown 481,000,000 514,000,000 1,300,000,000 8,600,000,000 300,000,000 Unknown Unknown Unknown Subtotal ................................................................ Comprehensive Planning ..................................... Other ..................................................................... Comprehensive Planning ..................................... Other ..................................................................... ................................ Unknown Unknown Unknown Unknown 13,794,300,000 Total ...................................................................... ................................ 13,794,300,000 Economic Development ........................................ Job Training, Education, Capacity Building .......... Identified needs Total ($) * Supporting information for the assessed need by category is provided in Appendix A. Goals, Objectives and Key Activities Goal #1: All Alaska, no matter how isolated, will have the physical infrastructure necessary to protect health and safety and to support selfsustaining economic development. Objectives: 1. Energy facilities (bulk fuel storage, power generation and transmission) will be constructed and upgraded at a significantly accelerated pace. 2. All Alaskans will have reasonable access to primary health care services. VerDate jul<14>2003 15:22 May 16, 2005 Jkt 205001 3. All Alaskans will have safe drinking water and sanitary waste disposal systems. 4. All Alaskans will have reasonable access to telecommunication services comparable to those available in major urban centers at comparable costs. 5. Construction of other basic physical infrastructure, including but not limited to, roads, ports, airports, and community facilities will be accelerated on a priority basis. Key Activities To Achieve Goals and Objectives: PO 00000 Frm 00019 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 • Complete a statewide energy strategy to clearly identify needs and set priorities for completion of bulk fuel storage facilities, power generation facilities including innovative and alternative facilities and power transmission facilities. The strategy will identify institutional structures and measures to achieve sustainable operation and maintenance of completed physical systems. • Complete a statewide needs assessment for primary health care facilities and develop a system to E:\FR\FM\17MYN1.SGM 17MYN1 28288 Federal Register / Vol. 70, No. 94 / Tuesday, May 17, 2005 / Notices establish priorities for completion of needed facilities. • Collaborate with Federal agencies and assist the State of Alaska as necessary in identifying gaps in funding for physical infrastructure that can be filled first by existing federal programs or, if necessary, by Denali Commission funding. • Utilize the annual work plan development process to allocate funds to physical infrastructure categories. Allocation of funds to specific projects will generally be guided by statewide priority systems and comprehensive plans developed at the community and regional levels. • Reduce the backlog of noncompliant bulk fuel storage facilities in rural Alaska in 6 communities annually. • Increase the reliability, efficiency and sustainability of power generation and/or transmission in 6 communities annually. • Complete construction or renovation of primary health care facilities for a least 5 communities is anticipated annually. • Enter into formal agreements with State and Federal agencies and others as appropriate to ensure accomplishment of objectives 3 through 5. Goal #2: Local residents in Alaskan communities will have the opportunity to acquire skills and knowledge necessary to be employed on the construction, operation and management jobs created by publicly funded physical infrastructure in their communities. Objectives: 1. Local residents will have access to skills and knowledge training that is necessary for employment on publicly funded physical infrastructure in their communities. 2. The Denali Commission’s investment in physical infrastructure will be protected by local residents trained to operate and maintain facilities. 3. Workers from outside a community will not need to be imported to fill construction, operations and maintenance jobs necessary for publicly funded physical infrastructure. 4. Communities will benefit from the increase in earnings from local residents employed on publicly funded physical infrastructure. Key Activities To Achieve Goals and Objectives: • Provide funding to a coordinated training system including, regional and local coordination, career pathway information, specific training courses, union apprenticeship-based training and non-union based training. VerDate jul<14>2003 15:22 May 16, 2005 Jkt 205001 • Partner with the State of Alaska, native non-profit corporations, private sector, union-based training organizations, non-union based training organizations and other Federal agencies to create a coordinated system to meet the training needs of local residents. • Provide financial assistance to communities and organizations that will provide specific training to local residents to become employed on construction, operations and maintenance jobs created by publicly funded physical infrastructure projects. Performance Indicators: • Increase the number of local area residents trained on construction, operations and maintenance of Denali Commission-funded physical infrastructure in Alaska by 5 percent annually. • Increase the local resident payroll on Denali Commission funded projects by 2 percent annually. • Increase the annual earnings of each local resident that completes Denali Commission funded training by 5 percent. Goal #3: Rural Alaskans will have access to financial and technical resources necessary to build a cash economy to supplement the existing subsistence economy. Objectives: 1. All Alaskans will have access to programs that provide entrepreneurial education. Technical assistance and business services will be available to entrepreneurs and business owners. 2. Entrepreneurs will have access to capital resources appropriate for their circumstances including bank loans, micro loans, BIDCO loans, venture capital, SBA loans, USDA Rural Development loans, U.S. Department of Commerce EDA loans or grants. 3. Support access to partnership funding for community based utilities, infrastructure and health delivery projects. Key Activities To Achieve Goals and Objectives: • Financial assistance will be provided through the State Department of Community and Economic Development and the First Alaskans Foundation to assist entrepreneurs, communities and regional entities to develop economic capacity. • Financial assistance will be provided to Alaska Growth Capital to enable that company to make loans and provide hands on technical assistance to entrepreneurs in economically distressed areas of Alaska. • The Denali Commission will work with financial institutions, foundations PO 00000 Frm 00020 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 and other entities as appropriate to create a revolving loan fund expressly for funding feasibility studies. • A minimum of 2 partnerships will be facilitated annually leading to completed projects within five years. Performance Indicators: • Minimum annual disbursement of financing by Alaska Growth Capital to business in communities defined as distressed by the Denali Commission will be $275,000. • Annual payroll of projects financed through Alaska Growth Capital will be at least $90,000 and will increase annually by at least $30,000. • A minimum of 5 feasibility studies for new business startups in economically distressed areas of Alaska will be funded annually from the revolving loan fund. Goal #4: Federal and State agencies will simplify procedures, share information, and improve coordination to enhance and improve the efficiency of the delivery of services to Alaskans and the communities in which they reside. Objectives: 1. The Denali Commission will limit its own administrative expenses to no more than 5 percent of its total budget and will ensure that all Denali Commission partners are kept to the lowest possible overhead needed to complete a project. 2. The Denali Commission will work to gain acceptance of a single community developed comprehensive plan as the basis for all Federal and State agency funding. 3. The Denali Commission will work to gain acceptance and utilization of a single comprehensive database for information (plans and project information) for rural Alaskan communities. Key Activities To Achieve Goals and Objectives: • The Denali Commission will work with key State and Federal agencies to complete and periodically update a memorandum of agreement that outlines key actions necessary to achieve this goal. • The Denali Commission will actively engage the Alaska Federal Executives Association, consistent with its charter, as a means to achieve this goal. • The Denali Commission will seek the guidance and assistance of the State Co-Chair as he/she works with the Governor’s cabinet to assist in meeting these goals and objectives. • Agreements with Denali Commission program implementation E:\FR\FM\17MYN1.SGM 17MYN1 Federal Register / Vol. 70, No. 94 / Tuesday, May 17, 2005 / Notices partners will be negotiated to achieve the minimum practicable overhead rates. Performance Indicators: • Administrative expenses of Denali Commission will be 5 percent or less. • Denali Commission partners will be held to the lowest reasonable overhead costs needed to complete projects. • An MOU will be reviewed annually, and updated as necessary to memorialize the commitment of federal and state agencies to this goal. • Progress in meeting these goals and objectives will be documented annually. Implementation Guiding Principles • Projects must be sustainable. To assist with the implementation of this principle, an Investment Strategy has been drafted to ensure that the level of funding provided by the Denali Commission to infrastructure projects in small, declining and/or environmentally threatened communities serves a public purpose and is invested in the most conscientious and sustainable manner possible. (The Investment Strategy is available on the Denali Commission Web site: http://www.denali.gov.) • The Denali Commission will generally not select individual projects for funding nor manage individual projects, but will work through existing State, Federal or other appropriate organizations to accomplish its mission. • Projects in economically distressed communities will have priority for Denali Commission assistance. • Projects should be compatible with local cultures and values. • Projects that provide substantial health and safety benefit, and/or enhance traditional community values, will generally receive priority over those that provide more narrow benefits. • Projects should be communitybased and regionally supported. • Projects should have broad public involvement and support. Evidence of support might include endorsement by affected local government councils (municipal, tribal, IRA, etc.), participation by local governments in planning and overseeing work, and local cost sharing on an ‘‘ability to pay’’ basis. • Priority will generally be given to projects with substantial cost sharing. • Priority will generally be given to projects with a demonstrated commitment to local hire. • Denali Commission funds may supplement existing funding, but will not replace existing Federal, State, local government, or private funding. • The Denali Commission will give priority to funding needs that are most clearly a federal responsibility. VerDate jul<14>2003 15:22 May 16, 2005 Jkt 205001 • Denali Commission funds will not be used to create unfair competition with private enterprise. Additional Guiding Principles for Infrastructure: • A project should be consistent with a comprehensive community or regional plan. • Any organization seeking funding assistance must have a demonstrated commitment to operation and maintenance of the facility for its design life. This commitment would normally include an institutional structure to levy and collect user fees if necessary, to account for and manage financial resources, and having trained and certified personnel necessary to operate and maintain the facility. Additional Guiding Principles for Economic Development: • Priority will be given to projects that enhance employment in high unemployment areas of the State (economically distressed), with emphasis on sustainable, long-term local jobs or career opportunities. • Projects should be consistent with statewide or regional plans. • The Denali Commission may fund demonstration projects that are not a part of a regional or statewide economic development plan if such projects have significant potential to contribute to economic development. Additional Guiding Principles for Training: • Training should increase the skills and knowledge of local residents to become employed on jobs created by the Government’s investment in public facilities in a community. Intergovernmental Coordination—The Memorandum of Understanding: The Denali Commission Act recognizes that our mission can be accomplished only through a collaborative, coordinated effort by the State of Alaska and key Federal agencies. The State of Alaska also recognizes benefits can be furthered if State agencies work in a collaborative and coordinated effort. With this in mind, Denali Commission has drawn up a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), which more than 20 agencies have agreed to, that outlines some points of agreement that will facilitate the collaboration and coordination necessary for achievement of the purposes of the Denali Commission and related missions of agencies who are parties to the MOU. The points of the MOU are: • Sustainability. Federal and State agencies recognize the importance of utilizing sustainability principles when investing in public infrastructure projects. PO 00000 Frm 00021 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 28289 • Regional Strategies. Systematic planning and coordination on a local, regional and statewide basis are necessary to achieve the most effective results from investment in infrastructure, economic development, and training. • Community Plans. A single community strategic plan should be sufficient to identify and establish the priorities of each rural community. • Sharing Information. Sharing information increases efficiencies and decreases duplication of services by State and Federal agencies. • Economic Development. Economic development facilitates and supports the growth of self-sufficient communities. • Non-Profit Organizations and Other Community Organizations. Non-profit and other organizations in Alaska are a valuable resource for State and Federal agencies. They provide regional planning, program support and partnering opportunities. • Workforce Development (Vocational and Career Training). Workforce development is a critical component to building sustainable public infrastructure and self-sufficient communities in Alaska. Appendix A Needs Assessment Supporting Information Power Utilities Identified Need: $300.8 million. Annual Funding: Denali Commission to establish. Source: AEA Assessment, 2000. Background: 178 communities were surveyed by the Alaska Energy Authority (AEA) which was completed in 2000. The total need for power utilities which includes power plant construction, rehabilitation, distribution, and cost reduction projects totals $300.8 million. The information presented below is separated by needs of communities that are part of the Alaska Village Electric Cooperative (AVEC) and all other remote communities. AVEC $76,000,000—Power Plant Construction and Rehabilitation. $18,000,000—Wind Power Generation Projects. $1,800,000—Other Power Distribution. Total AVEC: $93,800,000. Other Communities $131,000,000—Power Plant Construction and Rehabilitation. $20,000,000—Power Distribution Construction and Rehabilitation. $56,000,000—Energy Cost Reduction Projects*. Total for other communities: $207,000,000. Based upon current and projected funding, AEA anticipates completing the program of upgrading projects for communities outside of AVEC by 2015. E:\FR\FM\17MYN1.SGM 17MYN1 28290 Federal Register / Vol. 70, No. 94 / Tuesday, May 17, 2005 / Notices *Energy Cost Reduction Projects include: Alternative Energy Projects (wind $30 million and hydro $20 million) and Energy Efficiency Upgrades $6 million. Bulk Fuel Storage Identified Need: $362.5 million. Annual Funding: $55 to $65 million Denali Commission Funding. Source: AEA Assessment, 2000. Background: The Alaska Energy Authority (AEA) initiated an assessment of bulk fuel tank farms in rural Alaska communities in 1996. This assessment was completed in 2000. In September 2003, staff was requested to undertake an analysis of what it would take to complete the bulk fuel program in four more years of funding for the remaining communities in the AEA assessment. For Federal Fiscal Years 1999 through 2003, the Commission allocated $97.5 million to bulk fuel projects. Thirty three bulk fuel facilities have been completed with at least partial Commission funding. Another 13 fuel facilities are in construction, and 53 projects have received some level of design funding. AEA is responsible for 141 projects while the Alaska Village Electric Cooperative (AVEC) has assumed responsibility for 51 communities under construction agreements between the Commission and AVEC. To date (including the 2003 construction season), AEA has upgraded 9,500,000 gallons of capacity and has projected that 11,000,000 of capacity remain to be upgraded. AVEC has completed 2.5 million gallons of fuel facility upgrades and has projected another 15.9 million gallons remain to be upgraded. The average project size AEA has undertaken is decreasing in size from an average of $2,100,000 in 2001 to a projected cost of $1,700,000 in 2004. The average cost of upgrading since 2001 (including the 2003 Construction Season) is approximately $15.00 per gallon. It was not anticipated that this cost would increase over the next few years, however there has recently been a 50 percent increase in the cost of steel, so material costs are rising. AVEC projects tend to be larger, more expensive projects than AEA projects since they are generally in larger communities. The four year funding plan for bulk fuel indicates a need for $50 to $55 million for bulk fuel in FY04, and $55 to $65 million a year for the following three years, if projects are completed under our current standards and practices. This aggressive funding plan would result in completion of the known bulk fuel upgrade needs by the end of 2010. Water and Wastewater Identified Need: $650 million (current). (FY02 estimate for Alaska Natives only). (Funded Fiscal years 1960–2002: $1.33 billion). Annual Funding: There are 6 existing primary funding sources for developing and improving water and wastewater facilities in rural Alaska. Those sources and the amounts contributed in Federal fiscal year 2002 are shown below. U.S. Public Health Service—Indian Health Service ...................................................................................................................... U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Drinking Water Tribal Set-Aside ..................................................................................... U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Clean Water Tribal Set-Aside ......................................................................................... U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Infrastructure Grant ......................................................................................................... U.S. Department of Agriculture-Rural Development ..................................................................................................................... State of Alaska, Village Safe Water .............................................................................................................................................. Total ........................................................................................................................................................................................ While these amounts vary from year to year, the annual average for fiscal years 1997 through 2002 is $85.7 million. The trend has been towards increased funding levels. Background: Assistance in developing water and wastewater facilities in rural Alaska is provided to communities through two programs. The Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium (ANTHC) is the organization responsible for administering Indian Health Service, and EPA Indian SetAside sanitation construction funds in Alaska. The Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation’s Village Safe Water (VSW) program is the organization responsible for administering sanitation construction funds provided by the State, EPA (non-Tribal Set-Aside), and the USDARural Development. Both ANTHC and VSW work with rural communities to plan design and construct sanitation systems. ANTHC and VSW have developed a close working relationship despite the relative recent transfer of the sanitation program from IHS to ANTHC in October 1998. The priority funding lists of both organizations are coordinated and generally complement each other. ANTHC predominately works in Alaska communities with Native-owned homes, whereas VSW works in all rural communities (Native and non-Native). A lead agency is designated for each community receiving assistance. Lead agencies typically have responsibility for administering all State and Federal funding in the community. Existing funding streams and programs are making progress towards satisfying the overall need for sanitation facilities in rural Alaska. An estimated remaining need of $650 million and a current funding level of $108 VerDate jul<14>2003 15:22 May 16, 2005 Jkt 205001 million combine to suggest a six-year timeframe for meeting the need. The Denali Commission has not targeted water and wastewater improvements as a major initiative for infrastructure funding due to the level of funding and effort already underway in this sector of critical infrastructure. However, the Commission is involved in improving planning and interagency coordination. Primary Health Care Facilities Identified Need: $145 million from the Commission to fully address clinic needs. Annual Funding: Typically $25 to $30 million. Source: Annual funding is a mixture of Health Resources Services Administration (HRSA) funding and Denali Commission funding. Background: It is estimated that funding of $220 million will be needed in order to address the expected demand for primary care clinics after the FY04 funding cycle. At current match requirements, the Denali Commission estimated funding requirement will be $145 million. The Commission has adopted a seven-year plan for development of primary care clinics based upon annual funding cycles of $25 to $30 million. With this sustained funding level the Commission and its partners should be able to build or renovate a primary care clinic in every community in Alaska that wants such a facility and can demonstrate that clinic and the services are sustainable for 30 years. The Commission is beginning Year 3 of the plan with a goal to discontinue funding in FY09 for primary care clinics except for expansions due to medical equipment upgrades and some renovations. PO 00000 Frm 00022 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 $17,863,000 3,958,200 7,053,100 36,494,500 23,120,000 19,873,370 108,362,170 ‘‘Other Than’’ Primary Health Care Facilities Identified Need: $322,000,000—new hospitals. $130,000,000—expansion of existing Hospitals. $62,000,000—expansion of Behavioral Health Facilities. Annual Funding: Typically $6 million. Source: Annual funding is a mixture of Health Resources Services Administration (HRSA) funding and Denali Commission Base funding. Background: The estimated need for ‘‘Other Than’’ Primary Health Facilities which includes Hospitals, and Behavioral Health Facilities comes from the Denali Commission’s April 16, 2003 White Paper on Expanding the Commission’s Primary Care Program which can be found at the following link: http://www.denali.gov/Health Care/ Program_Documents/White Paper—Potential for Expanding the Denali Commission Primary Care Program to Other Types of Health Care Facilities.pdf. Airport Facilities Identified Need: $1.3 billion. Annual Funding: $65—$90 million. Source: Transportation Needs and Priorities in Alaska (November 2002) and Transportation Investment Analysis (Spring 2002), published by the State of Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities (ADOT&PF). Background: Alaska’s extensive aviation system plays a crucial role in the movement of people and goods throughout the State. In many parts of rural Alaska, aviation serves as the principal link between communities. There are 1,112 designated airports, seaplane bases, and aircraft landing areas in the State of Alaska. The ADOT&PF owns and operates 261 public airports, the majority of Alaska’s E:\FR\FM\17MYN1.SGM 17MYN1 Federal Register / Vol. 70, No. 94 / Tuesday, May 17, 2005 / Notices public airports. Twenty three public airports are owned and operated by local governments. Nearly all of Alaska’s airport capital improvements rely on funding from the Federal Aviation Trust Fund. This fund, supported by Federal taxes on airline tickets, cargo, and fuel, supplies monies for capital improvements through the Airport Improvement Program (AIP), which is authorized for funding on an annual basis. In recent years, AIP entitlement funds for Alaska’s airports varied from approximately $65 million to $90 million annually. The State or local sponsor is required to contribute 6.25% in the form of match. The current AIP authorizing legislation expires on September 30, 2003, and at this time, it is unknown what changes Congress may incorporate into the AIP legislation. Road Construction and Major Maintenance Identified Need: $8.6 billion. Annual Funding: $260–$350 million. Source: Transportation Needs and Priorities in Alaska (November 2002) and Transportation Investment Analysis (Spring 2002), published by the State of Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities (ADOT&PF). Background: Improved surface transportation can have many positive effects including lowering costs for goods and services, improving village to village interaction, and allowing for State and Federal investments in schools, clinics, airports, harbors, and tank farms to serve more communities per project. Because of its vast geographic expanse and young age as a state, Alaska continues to require significant resources for transportation improvements. The list of unmet surface transportation needs in Alaska is about 1,950 projects with a total estimated cost approximating $8.6 billion. The primary funding source for surface transportation projects in Alaska is Federal-aid highway funding, which flows through the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and the Federal Transit Administration (FTA). State funds are required to match these Federal funds; for most highway projects, the Federal ratio is 91 percent. The State of Alaska administers most of the FHWA funding allocated to Alaska with the exception of money specifically designated for the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA), which currently amounts to approximately $17 million per year. One important distinction between FHWA and BIA funding for roads is the long-term maintenance obligation. Under FHWA, the recipient is responsible for maintenance in perpetuity, with no Federal support for this activity. Under the BIA funding system, such roads are then added to the Indian Reservation Road system (IRR) and are eligible for a share of a national pot of money allocated to maintenance of IRR roads. Through the recent TEA–21 era, average funding levels have been approximately $350 million per year, up substantially from the approximately $220 million under ISTEA (1991–1997). Most FHWA funding received by the State stays in larger auto-dependent communities, with some funding going to VerDate jul<14>2003 15:22 May 16, 2005 Jkt 205001 rural communities largely for sanitation roads and trail markings. Funding for projects off the road system goes primarily to the larger hub communities. Port Facilities Identified Need: $300 million. Annual Funding: $7 to $15 million. Source: Transportation Needs and Priorities in Alaska (November 2002) and Transportation Investment Analysis (Spring 2002), published by the State of Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities (ADOT&PF). Background: With over 30,000 miles of shoreline, relatively few roads, and 90 percent of the state’s population living within ten miles of the coast or along a major river, Alaska’s marine facilities are integral to the local, statewide, and international transportation of goods and people. Ports and harbors have no Federal capital assistance program comparable to the highway and airport funding programs. Federal funds for ports and harbors come through the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The Corps distributes funding on a nationally competitive, project-by-project basis. State and local communities in Alaska have been awarded between $7 and $15 million annually in Federal funding for all Corps of Engineers programs in recent years. For construction, the Corps requires between 20 and 35 percent match for projects such as dredging basins, docks, floats, grids, and upland facilities. Though not a dedicated funding source, the Marine Users Fuel Tax is the traditional foundation of small boat harbor improvements in the State, and general obligation bonds have been the foundation of State assisted port development. Telecommunications Identified Need: Unknown. Annual Funding: $15 million in FY03 and FY04 funding for Regulatory Commission of Alaska’s Rural Broadband Internet Grant Program. Several other funding support mechanisms including Universal Service Fund also exist. Background: In January 2001, the Denali Commission, in partnership with the State of Alaska, completed an inventory of available telecommunication services in rural Alaska. Among other findings, the inventory found that 61 percent of all Alaskan communities do not have access to local dial-up Internet service. This identified need is being addressed through the Regulatory Commission of Alaska’s Rural Broadband Internet Grant Program, Telecommunications Industry investment resulting in expansion of Internet offerings in most rural communities in the next one to three years. Solid Waste Disposal Facilities Identified Need: Unknown. Annual Funding: Generally less than $1,000,000. Background: Solid waste disposal is a necessity for all rural Alaska communities as it is for every community in the country. Observation would indicate that the majority of rural Alaska communities do not have facilities that meet basic legal requirements for solid waste disposal. The Denali PO 00000 Frm 00023 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 28291 Commission received $1 million in FY04 funding from USDA for the development of solid waste facilities in rural Alaska. Development of this innovative program and identification of projects is ongoing. Community Facilities Identified Need: Unknown. Annual Funding: Unknown. Background: Communities have a need for community assembly facilities for various purposes, including planning, meetings, traditional functions, and recreation for youth. These facilities, when available, are heavily used in rural communities. Appendix B Program Principles—Supporting Information Rural Infrastructure Development In the evolution of the Denali Commission and its approach to infrastructure development some principles have been established. These include the following: • Selection of infrastructure themes for allocating funds. In FY99 rural energy was selected as the primary infrastructure theme. That priority was continued in FY00, and is expected to continue in FY01 and beyond. In FY00 rural health care facilities were selected as the second infrastructure theme. Other themes may be selected in future years. • Selection of program/project partners to carry out infrastructure development. The Alaska Energy Authority (AEA) was selected as the Denali Commission’s first partner for rural energy projects. AEA was selected because of its demonstrated capability to prioritize and implement rural energy projects. The Alaska Village Electric Cooperative was selected as the second energy partner and Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium was selected as the Commission’s primary partner for clinic design and construction. The overriding point in selection of a program/project partner is that the Commission wishes to utilize existing capabilities provided by State or Federal agencies or other organizations. More than one partner may be identified to participate in carrying out Commission sponsored programs/projects for a particular theme. • Project selection by the Commission and/or the program/project partner must be defendable and credible. In the case of AEA, two separate comprehensive statewide project priority lists had been developed— one for bulk fuel storage facilities, and a second for power generation/distribution projects. As in the case of AEA the Commission will utilize existing credible priority systems. Where a credible statewide priority methodology for a selected theme does not exist, the Commission in cooperation with appropriate organizations will foster the development of a system. This is illustrated by the Commission’s efforts in partnership with the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services, the Indian Health Service, and the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium to develop a prioritization methodology for primary health care facilities. • Theme selection is a methodical process. The Commission has stressed the importance E:\FR\FM\17MYN1.SGM 17MYN1 28292 Federal Register / Vol. 70, No. 94 / Tuesday, May 17, 2005 / Notices of comprehensive investigation and exploration of infrastructure themes so that Commission resources are strategically funneled to ‘‘gaps’’ in State and Federal funding streams. Carrying out needs assessments on various infrastructure themes is central to the development of a theme. Energy, telecommunications, and rural primary health care facilities are examples of assessments that were initiated in conjunction with interested State and Federal agencies in the Commission’s first year. • Commission partners are responsible for compliance with procedural and substantive legal requirements. It is the expectation of the Denali Commission that partners will comply with all applicable local, State and Federal laws in carrying out Commission funded programs/projects. For example, the partner must address NEPA and OSHA regulations, Federal auditing requirements, competitive procurement issues and so forth. As a result, the Commission will look to partners who have demonstrated both administrative and program/project management success. • Adherence to the successful project management elements of time, budget and quality. Each of these factors is central to Denali Commission agreements with partners. The Commission wants to put our partners in a position of success in meeting the triple constraint of project management; deliver the project on time, on budget and completion of the full project scope in a cost effective manner. The challenge to the Commission is to allow sufficient flexibility for each partner to carry out the programs/ projects within their own established methods while assuring confident project completion and meeting all requirements of applicable laws and regulations. For example, the AEA employs a project methodology that relies heavily on force account construction (locally sponsored government crews). AEA also uses construction contracting to a lesser degree. In short, each agreement with a partner organization must be tailored to fit their approach to program/project management. Rural Energy Approach AEA has employed a two-step approach to bulk fuel project funding that is strongly supported by the Commission. Starting at the top of the AEA priority list, projects are provided 35% design funds one or more years before being eligible for capital funding. This allows for more accurate project cost estimates, resolution of easement and land issues, development of agreements between various local parties in site selection and tank farm ownership/maintenance. This step also serves to filter projects that are not ready for construction, for one reason or another, from advancing to the second step of project funding. This two-step approach ensures that funding does not sit unused by projects that are not ready for construction. Once a project has resolved any obstacles at the 35% design stage, then they are eligible for capital funding. AEA will reevaluate its priority list from time to time in order to factor in new information, particularly information from the statewide energy strategy. This reevaluation may result in some modification VerDate jul<14>2003 15:22 May 16, 2005 Jkt 205001 of the list. Funding priorities will also be subject to ‘‘readiness to proceed’’ considerations as described in part above. Rural Primary Care Facilities Approach In the past, communities constructed clinics based upon available grant funds (typically community development block grants of $200,000 to $500,000). Consequently clinic square footage was based upon available funding and not necessarily upon health care delivery service appropriate for the population and demographics of the community. Many clinics are therefore undersized. In FY99 the Commission allocated $300,000 to undertake a needs assessment for rural primary care facilities. The needs assessment was completed in October 2000 and included a database of primary health care facility needs statewide as well as a project prioritization methodology. The Commission’s investments in rural health facilities is based on this needs assessment. Job Training Strategy The Commission realizes that proper and prudent investment in public infrastructure must include a component for training local residents to maintain and operate publicly funded infrastructure. The Commission further realizes that through its investment in public infrastructure, such as bulk fuel storage facilities, it is creating numerous jobs related to the construction of these facilities and must develop a strategy to ensure local residents are properly trained to receive these jobs. The Denali Commission’s Training Strategy creates a statewide system to increase the local employment rates in Alaskan communities through the development of skills necessary to construct, maintain, and operate public infrastructure. The Commission has approved 10% of the FY00–FY03 funding for implementation of the Training Strategy. In FY04 the Commission received appropriation direction for funding from the U.S. Department of Labor. Through this funding the Commission ensures local residents are employed on public facility construction projects in their communities, while also protecting the Denali Commission’s investment in infrastructure by ensuring local residents are properly trained in the operations and maintenance of completed facilities. The Denali Commission’s Training Strategy involves several components that create a statewide system for job training outreach, coordination and delivery in rural Alaska. The Commission has partnered with several statewide organizations that will perform the necessary functions that make up the Denali Commission’s Training Strategy. The Training Strategy provides the Denali Commission the flexibility for future investment in job training needs statewide. Currently the Commission’s partners and the Denali Training Fund are focusing on jobs created by the construction of energy and health related projects. In the future, the Training Strategy will focus its efforts on other areas where the Commission is investing. PO 00000 Frm 00024 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 Economic Development Strategy The Denali Commission in not a funding agency for traditional economic development activities. The Commission has a strategy that outlines the appropriate role of the Commission in the area of economic development. The strategy includes the following components: • The Commission, where appropriate will play the role of convener, bringing potential economic development participants together to support projects that meet Commission Standards outlined in paragraph IV below. • The Commission will act as a facilitator to assist in matching high priority, high potential public or private investment opportunities with available funding sources. • The Commission will serve as a catalyst for identification and removal of unnecessary economic development barriers by government. In Fiscal Year 2004, a statewide Economic Development Committee was established under the authority of the Denali Commission. Regional Development Strategy The Denali Commission encourages communities/tribes to build a local comprehensive plan and strategy, a component of which will be economic development. A comprehensive plan may also be referred to as a Development Strategy. Communities are encouraged to work with regional organizations such as ARDOR’s, regional non-profit corporations, borough governments and regional for-profit organizations to develop comprehensive strategies of which economic development will be a component. Regional strategies should take into consideration existing regional planning and strategy efforts including, but not limited to, the efforts of the FAA, HUD, Alaska DOT, ANTHC, Alaska VSW, State Division of Public Health, Alaska Department of Public Safety, regional nonprofits and others. The Denali Commission encourages the state to assist with technical support and funding at the local and regional level to build local and regional development strategies. The Denali Commission also encourages State and Federal governments to utilize the local and regional development strategies when prioritizing projects in the state or in a region. Jeffrey B. Staser, Federal Co-Chair. [FR Doc. 05–9768 Filed 5–16–05; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3300–01–P DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request Department of Education. The Leader, Information Management Case Services Team, Regulatory Information Management Services, Office of the Chief Information Officer invites comments on the AGENCY: SUMMARY: E:\FR\FM\17MYN1.SGM 17MYN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 70, Number 94 (Tuesday, May 17, 2005)]
[Notices]
[Pages 28283-28292]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 05-9768]


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DENALI COMMISSION


Denali Commission Five Year Strategic Plan (2005-2009) and Fiscal 
Year 2006 Work Plan

Introduction

    The Denali Commission Act of 1998 (Title III, Pub. L. 105-277, 42 
U.S.C. 3121) created a State-Federal partnership to address crucial 
needs of rural Alaskan communities, particularly isolated Native 
villages and other communities lacking access to the national highway 
system, affordable power, adequate health facilities and other 
impediments to economic self sufficiency. Guided by five Commissioners 
representing statewide non-governmental organizations, the 
unprecedented results to date testify to the efficacy of inter-agency 
teamwork, effective training, and the setting of high sustainability 
standards by those closest to the problems at hand. The Commission is a 
highly effective catalyst for enhanced collaboration among Federal, 
State, tribal and local governments as well as private sector, non-
profit and other interests. The over arching goal of enabling economic 
self sufficiency is based on effective community comprehensive 
planning, and regional support.
    This document will guide the reader through:
     An introduction of the Denali Commission's purposes and 
mission.
     The Denali Commission's Work Plan for Fiscal Year 2005.
     The Five-year strategic plan.
    Denali Commission, Jeffrey Staser, Federal Co-Chair, 510 L Street, 
Suite 410, Anchorage, Alaska 99501, Phone:

[[Page 28284]]

(907) 271-1414, Fax: (907) 271-1415, http://www.denali.gov.

Purpose of the Commission

    The Denali Commission Act of 1998, as amended (Division C, Title 
III, Pub. L. 105-277) states that the purposes of the Denali Commission 
are:

To deliver the services of the Federal government in the most cost-
effective manner practicable by reducing administrative and overhead 
costs.
To provide job training and other economic development services in 
rural communities, particularly distressed communities (many of which 
have a rate of unemployment that exceeds 50 percent).
To promote rural development, provide power generation and transmission 
facilities, modern communication systems, bulk fuel storage tanks, 
water and sewer systems and other infrastructure needs.

Vision

    Alaska will have a healthy, well-trained labor force working in a 
diversified and sustainable economy that is supported by a fully 
developed and well-maintained infrastructure.

Mission

    The Denali Commission will partner with tribal, Federal, State, and 
local governments and collaborate with all Alaskans to improve the 
effectiveness and efficiency of government services, to develop a well-
trained labor force employed in a diversified and sustainable economy, 
and to build and ensure the operation and maintenance of Alaska's basic 
infrastructure.

Values

    Catalyst for Positive Change--The Commission will be an 
organization through which agencies of government, including tribal 
governments, may collaborate guided by the people of Alaska, to 
aggressively do the right things in the right ways.
    Respect for People and Cultures--The Commission will be guided by 
the people of Alaska in seeking to preserve the principles of self-
determination, respect for diversity, and consideration of the rights 
of individuals.
    Inclusive--The Commission will provide the opportunity for all 
interested parties to participate in decisionmaking and carefully 
reflect their input in the design, selection, and implementation of 
programs and projects.
    Sustainability--The Commission will promote programs and projects 
that meet the current needs of communities and provide for the 
anticipated needs of future generations.
    Accountability--The Commission will set measurable standards of 
effectiveness and efficiency for both internal and external activities.

Goals

    The goals generated by the strategic planning process define 
conditions that must be created to realize the Denali Commission 
Vision.
    1. All Alaska, no matter how isolated, will have the physical 
infrastructure necessary to protect health and safety and to support 
self-sustaining economic development.
    2. Local residents in Alaskan communities will be provided the 
opportunity to acquire the skills and knowledge necessary to be 
employed on the construction, operation and management jobs created by 
publicly funded physical infrastructure in their communities.
    3. Alaskans will have access to financial and technical resources 
necessary to build a cash economy to supplement the existing 
subsistence economy.
    4. Federal and State agencies will simplify procedures, share 
information, and improve coordination to ensure equitable delivery of 
services to all Alaskan communities.

Implementation Guiding Principles

     Projects must be sustainable. To assist with the 
implementation of this principle, an Investment Strategy has been 
drafted to ensure that the level of funding provided by the Denali 
Commission to infrastructure projects in small, declining and/or 
environmentally threatened communities serves a public purpose and is 
invested in the most conscientious and sustainable manner possible. 
(The Investment Strategy is available on the Denali Commission Web 
site: http://www.denali.gov.)
     The Denali Commission will generally not select individual 
projects for funding nor manage individual projects, but will work 
through existing State, Federal or other appropriate organizations to 
accomplish its mission.
     Projects in economically distressed communities will have 
priority for Denali Commission assistance.
     Projects should be compatible with local cultures and 
values.
     Projects that provide substantial health and safety 
benefit, and/or enhance traditional community values, will generally 
receive priority over those that provide more narrow benefits.
     Projects should be community-based and regionally 
supported.
     Projects should have broad public involvement and support. 
Evidence of support might include endorsement by affected local 
government councils (municipal, tribal, IRA, etc.), participation by 
local governments in planning and overseeing work, and local cost 
sharing on an ``ability to pay'' basis.
     Priority will generally be given to projects with 
substantial cost sharing.
     Priority will generally be given to projects with a 
demonstrated commitment to local hire.
     Denali Commission funds may supplement existing funding, 
but will not replace existing Federal, State, local government, or 
private funding.
     The Denali Commission will give priority to funding needs 
that are most clearly a Federal responsibility.
     Denali Commission funds will not be used to create unfair 
competition with private enterprise.
    Additional Guiding Principles for Infrastructure:
     A project should be consistent with a comprehensive 
community or regional plan.
     Any organization seeking funding assistance must have a 
demonstrated commitment to operation and maintenance of the facility 
for its design life. This commitment would normally include an 
institutional structure to levy and collect user fees if necessary, to 
account for and manage financial resources, and having trained and 
certified personnel necessary to operate and maintain the facility.
    Additional Guiding Principles for Economic Development:
     Priority will be given to projects that enhance employment 
in high unemployment areas of the State (economically distressed), with 
emphasis on sustainable, long-term local jobs or career opportunities.
     Projects should be consistent with statewide or regional 
plans.
     The Denali Commission may fund demonstration projects that 
are not a part of a regional or statewide economic development plan if 
such projects have significant potential to contribute to economic 
development.
    Additional Guiding Principles for Training:
     Training should increase the skills and knowledge of local 
residents to become employed on jobs created by the Government's 
investment in public facilities in a community.
    Intergovernmental Coordination--The Memorandum of Understanding:
    The Denali Commission Act recognizes that our mission can be 
accomplished only through a collaborative, coordinated effort by the 
State of Alaska and key Federal agencies. The State of Alaska also 
recognizes benefits can be furthered if

[[Page 28285]]

State agencies work in a collaborative and coordinated effort. With 
this in mind, Denali Commission has drawn up a Memorandum of 
Understanding (MOU), which more than 20 agencies have agreed to, that 
outlines some points of agreement that will facilitate the 
collaboration and coordination necessary for achievement of the 
purposes of the Denali Commission and related missions of agencies who 
are parties to the MOU.
    The points of the MOU are:
     Sustainability. Federal and State agencies recognize the 
importance of utilizing sustainability principles when investing in 
public infrastructure projects.
     Regional Strategies. Systematic planning and coordination 
on a local, regional and statewide basis are necessary to achieve the 
most effective results from investment in infrastructure, economic 
development, and training.
     Community Plans. A single community strategic plan should 
be sufficient to identify and establish the priorities of each rural 
community.
     Sharing Information. Sharing information increases 
efficiencies and decreases duplication of services by State and Federal 
agencies.
     Economic Development. Economic development facilitates and 
supports the growth of self-sufficient communities.
     Non-Profit Organizations and Other Community 
Organizations. Non-profit and other organizations in Alaska are a 
valuable resource for State and Federal agencies. They provide regional 
planning, program support and partnering opportunities.
     Workforce Development (Vocational and Career Training). 
Workforce development is a critical component to building sustainable 
public infrastructure and self-sufficient communities in Alaska.

Fiscal Year 2006 Work Plan

    The Commission has determined that the scope and scale of 
infrastructure issues facing rural Alaska are staggering. The total of 
known basic infrastructure needs for Alaskan communities is estimated 
to be over $13 billion. These infrastructure needs include:

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 Infrastructure.............  --Housing Construction/Development
                                      --Multi-use Facilities
                                      --Power Utilities
                                      --Bulk Fuel Storage
                                      --Drinking Water and Wastewater Facilities
                                      --Solid Waste Management Facilities
                                      --Health Care Facilities
                                      --Airport Facilities
                                      --Road and Trail Construction
                                      --Port, Dock and other Marine Facilities
                                      --Telecommunications
                                      --Community Facilities
 Economic Development.......  --Comprehensive Planning
 Job Training, Education,     --Comprehensive Planning
 Capacity Building.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    In Fiscal Year 2006, the Denali Commission will continue to 
collaborate with other funding agencies and with all impacted and 
interested parties to address identified needs on a priority basis. The 
President's FY06 Budget states that Denali Commission will receive 
$2,562,000 through the Energy & Water Development Appropriations Act. 
In addition, the Commission expects to receive approximately $4 million 
in interest from the Trans Alaska Pipeline Liability (TAPL) fund.

Prioritization of Projects for FY06

    Of necessity, the Commission's work must be phased over a number of 
years based on the urgency of competing needs and availability of 
funding. The theme of rural energy, as one important prerequisite to 
all other utilities and economic development, was selected as the 
Commission's top priority for infrastructure funding. Primary health 
care facilities were identified as the second infrastructure theme for 
the Commission beginning in FY00. These two themes will continue to be 
the top priorities for infrastructure funds through FY06, and the 
Commission, consistent with Congressional intent, may add one or more 
additional themes.
    For planning purposes, the Commission has allocated a total of 
$6,562,000 for FY06 as follows:

------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                       FY06         TAPL
                                    projected     interest   FY06 & TAPL
                                     funding       funds       combined
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Bulk Fuel Storage Facilities.....  ...........   $3,800,000   $3,800,000
Operations.......................   $2,562,000      200,000    2,762,000
                                  --------------
    Total........................    2,562,000    4,000,000    6,562,000
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    In accordance with the Denali Commission Code, Administrative funds 
(5%) are solely the responsibility of the Federal Co-Chairman. 
Allocation of the balance of funds (95%) will be made by the full 
Denali Commission, utilizing the guiding principles previously outlined 
in this document, and priority systems designed specifically for each 
budget category.
    Project implementation will generally be accomplished through 
State, local or Federal government entities, regulated utilities, or 
non-profit organizations. It shall be the responsibility of all such 
implementing organizations to comply with all applicable laws. Any 
special requirements will be articulated in the funding agreement 
between the Denali Commission and the funding recipient. The MOU will 
serve to guide intergovernmental coordination and collaboration among 
agencies.
    Projects resulting from funding of infrastructure themes generally 
are consistent with high priorities identified in community plans. The 
existence of community plans greatly facilitates the location, design, 
and completion of

[[Page 28286]]

infrastructure projects within a community.

Performance Indicators for FY 2006

    Energy:
     Reduce the backlog of non-compliant bulk fuel storage 
facilities in rural Alaska by renovating or building a bulk fuel 
storage facility in 2 communities.
    Financial and Technical Resources:
     Produce reliable and timely performance and other 
financial information from the financial management system for managing 
current operations.
     Prepare accurate and timely financial reports on Budget 
Execution in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles 
and meeting the requirements of the Office of Management and Budget and 
U.S. Treasury.
     Maintain administrative expenses of Denali Commission at 5 
percent or less of appropriated funds.
    Government Coordination:
     Hold Denali Commission partners to the lowest reasonable 
overhead costs needed to complete projects.
    Work Toward the President's Management Agenda:
    President George W. Bush has set forth a strategy to improve 
management of the Federal government through government-wide goals in 
five mutually reinforcing areas:

--Human Capital.
--Competitive Sourcing.
--Improved Financial Management.
--Expanded e-Government.
--Budget and Performance Integration.

    The Denali Commission is making progress in these strategic areas 
in the following ways:
Human Capital
    The Denali Commission attempts to be innovative in its recruitment 
and retention of staff. With a small permanent staff and ``on-loan'' 
staff from partner agencies and organizations, the Denali Commission 
has a flat organization chart, making it simple for customers to reach 
the staff they need to and get the answers they require, through 
electronic messaging, telephone, or in-person.
    An additional advantage of a small organization is the ease of 
managing the accurate measurement and appropriate rewarding of staff 
for performance. Denali Commission utilizes many human capital 
investment-oriented strategies for retaining qualified and effective 
staff, such as preventive health programs, and appropriate training.
Competitive Sourcing
    As a very small agency headquarters, the Denali Commission is 
highly motivated, by necessity, to comply with this initiative. 
Although formal assessments have not been carried out on the 
competitive sourcing opportunities, the Denali Commission regularly 
utilizes contractors and private enterprise for many of our tasks. 
Examples include; development of innovative database and accounting 
systems, computer maintenance, and document scanning services.
Improved Financial Management
    Five of the Denali Commission permanent staff are responsible for 
all operations and finance. Limited to 5 percent overhead, the agency 
has, and will continue to, enthusiastically participate and pursue 
automation and forward-thinking technology whenever possible. Through 
advances in technology, Denali Commission continues to realize internal 
efficiencies and increases in effectiveness.
    To keep pace with the Government-Wide-Accounting (GWA) initiative, 
a new accounting system was developed in FY04. The Commission utilizes 
the Veterans Affairs (VA) Financial Services Enterprise Center as 
consultants on this project. This accounting system maintains the 
highest quality of accuracy in reporting to OMB, Congress and the 
public.
    Staff is working, in conjunction with other Federal agencies, to 
accomplish automation to the extent feasible, with Federal Treasury 
payment and collection systems (IPAC, ASAP and SPS).
    We are currently a pilot test site for the Internet Payment 
Platform (IPP) which is being developed by Treasury for the efficient 
and timely payment of vendors.
Expanded e-Government
    The Denali Commission is committed to managing our projects more 
effectively and more transparently to partners, customers and the 
public. The Denali Commission Project Database is a significant step in 
this direction. The Denali Commission Project Database, now operational 
on our Web site, is an initiative that permeates several of the five 
strategic areas of the President's Management Agenda. To enhance 
project management and information sharing with our partners and the 
public, the Denali Commission has developed an Internet-based database 
of all Commission projects. This tool is for tracking and managing 
Denali Commission and partner project data. The database is built to 
provide information that is easy to use, has the highest degree of 
integrity and maintainability, and is accessible for all interested 
parties. In keeping with the Denali Commission mission, the system 
allows for collaboration to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of 
government services. Within the database, managers and grantees perform 
on-line reporting; provide project financial information, project 
photos and other information on all Commission funded projects. Also 
available within the database are priority lists of projects yet to be 
funded in communities across Alaska. Across the State of Alaska, 
Federal, State and local entities (including regional non-profits, 
health corporations, and tribal governments) share a vision for 
developing a shared, central database (or portal) to further improve 
the transparency of government.
    The Denali Commission now has an active link to our agency Web site 
located on http://www.FirstGov.gov to help citizens find information 
and obtain services from that central location. We are working to place 
Denali Commission grant opportunities on the http://www.Grants.gov Web 
site as well. Additional e-Government projects that the Denali 
Commission is monitoring and will participate in include e-Travel and 
e-Authentication. To maximize IT partnerships (and coordination) with 
other Federal agencies, the Denali Commission works with the Federal 
Aviation Administration (FAA) and Department of the Interior (DOI) to 
support our local computer network.
    Our commitment to internet and electronic payment and collection 
systems is hailed by our vendors and customers, especially in this 
large State with sometimes slow and unpredictable mail and telephone 
(Internet) services. These systems assist with streamlining and 
ensuring timely and accurate transactions.
    As we build and develop strong IT infrastructure at the Denali 
Commission, we maintain a high level of vigilance that proper and 
adequate security is set in place. Our plan for IT development always 
includes an assessment of value to the public, avoidance of duplication 
and the goal of transparency and accountability.
Budget and Performance Integration
    The Denali Commission, by legislation, is limited to 5 percent 
overhead/administrative rate. So, 95 percent of our funds go directly 
into making progress toward our vision:

    Alaska will have a healthy, well-trained labor force working in 
a diversified and

[[Page 28287]]

sustainable economy that is supported by a fully developed and well-
maintained infrastructure.

    The Denali Commission has set in motion the tools to assist the 
staff in measuring performance--the Project Database and the new 
accounting system
    We require our grantees to establish and meet milestones, and we 
publish those on the Project Database. We set goals at an agency level 
for construction projects reaching completion each year. That is the 
bottom line that will improve the lives of the residents of Alaska. And 
we set internal benchmarks for the quality and efficiency of services 
provided to our customers. That keeps the Denali Commission staff on 
track in prioritizing individuals' work time. We measure ourselves 
against these standards constantly and check on them as a team monthly.

Strategic Plan--2005 Through 2009

Challenges to Development and Economic Self-Sufficiency in Alaska

    Geography/Climate--The State of Alaska encompasses twenty percent 
of the landmass of the United States, encompassing 5 climatic zones 
from the arctic desert to moderate rain forests in the south.
    Isolation--Approximately 220 Alaskan communities are accessible 
only by air or small boat. Some village communities are separated by 
hundreds of miles from the nearest regional hub community or urban 
center. The average community is over 1,000 miles from the state 
capital.
    Unemployment--The economy of rural Alaska is a mix of government or 
government-funded jobs, natural resource extraction and traditional 
Native subsistence activities. Many rural Alaskans depend on 
subsistence hunting, fishing and gathering for a significant portion of 
their foods, but also depend on cash income to provide the means to 
pursue subsistence activities. Cash-paying employment opportunities in 
rural Alaska are scarce and are highly seasonal in many areas; 
unemployment rates exceed 50 percent in 147 communities.
    High Cost and Low Standard of Living--Over 180 communities suffer 
from inadequate sanitation or a lack of safe drinking water. Residents 
face high electric costs: 61 cents per kilowatt-hour for electricity in 
a few communities (average in rural Alaska is approximately 40 cents 
per kilowatt-hour which is over six times the National average of 6.75 
cents) even with State subsidies.
    The Commission determined that the scope and scale of 
infrastructure issues facing rural Alaska are staggering. Assessment of 
needs and refinement of estimates will be an ongoing process. The total 
of known infrastructure needs is estimated to be over $13 billion. 
Training and economic development needs have not been quantified, but 
the unmet needs in these areas are also believed to be quite large. 
Consequently, it is imperative that efforts to address the most 
essential needs be both focused and strategic.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
            Funding category                      Category/class           Identified needs        Total ($)
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Infrastructure.........................  Housing Construction/                 1,800,000,000  ..................
                                          Development.
                                         Power Utilities................         300,800,000  ..................
                                         Bulk Fuel Storage..............         362,500,000  ..................
                                         Drinking Water and Wastewater           650,000,000  ..................
                                          Facilities.
                                         Solid Waste Management                      Unknown  ..................
                                          Facilities.
                                         Primary Health Care Facilities.         481,000,000  ..................
                                         Other Health Facilities........         514,000,000  ..................
                                         Airport Facilities.............       1,300,000,000  ..................
                                         Road Construction..............       8,600,000,000  ..................
                                         Port Facilities................         300,000,000  ..................
                                         Telecommunications.............             Unknown  ..................
                                         Community Facilities...........             Unknown  ..................
                                         Other..........................             Unknown  ..................
                                                                                             -------------------
                                         Subtotal.......................  ..................      13,794,300,000
Economic Development...................  Comprehensive Planning.........             Unknown  ..................
                                         Other..........................             Unknown  ..................
Job Training, Education, Capacity        Comprehensive Planning.........             Unknown  ..................
 Building.
                                         Other..........................             Unknown  ..................
                                                                                             -------------------
                                         Total..........................  ..................     13,794,300,000
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
* Supporting information for the assessed need by category is provided in Appendix A.

Goals, Objectives and Key Activities

    Goal 1: All Alaska, no matter how isolated, will have the 
physical infrastructure necessary to protect health and safety and to 
support self-sustaining economic development.

    Objectives:
    1. Energy facilities (bulk fuel storage, power generation and 
transmission) will be constructed and upgraded at a significantly 
accelerated pace.
    2. All Alaskans will have reasonable access to primary health care 
services.
    3. All Alaskans will have safe drinking water and sanitary waste 
disposal systems.
    4. All Alaskans will have reasonable access to telecommunication 
services comparable to those available in major urban centers at 
comparable costs.
    5. Construction of other basic physical infrastructure, including 
but not limited to, roads, ports, airports, and community facilities 
will be accelerated on a priority basis.
    Key Activities To Achieve Goals and Objectives:
     Complete a statewide energy strategy to clearly identify 
needs and set priorities for completion of bulk fuel storage 
facilities, power generation facilities including innovative and 
alternative facilities and power transmission facilities. The strategy 
will identify institutional structures and measures to achieve 
sustainable operation and maintenance of completed physical systems.
     Complete a statewide needs assessment for primary health 
care facilities and develop a system to

[[Page 28288]]

establish priorities for completion of needed facilities.
     Collaborate with Federal agencies and assist the State of 
Alaska as necessary in identifying gaps in funding for physical 
infrastructure that can be filled first by existing federal programs 
or, if necessary, by Denali Commission funding.
     Utilize the annual work plan development process to 
allocate funds to physical infrastructure categories. Allocation of 
funds to specific projects will generally be guided by statewide 
priority systems and comprehensive plans developed at the community and 
regional levels.
     Reduce the backlog of non-compliant bulk fuel storage 
facilities in rural Alaska in 6 communities annually.
     Increase the reliability, efficiency and sustainability of 
power generation and/or transmission in 6 communities annually.
     Complete construction or renovation of primary health care 
facilities for a least 5 communities is anticipated annually.
     Enter into formal agreements with State and Federal 
agencies and others as appropriate to ensure accomplishment of 
objectives 3 through 5.

Goal 2: Local residents in Alaskan communities will have the 
opportunity to acquire skills and knowledge necessary to be employed on 
the construction, operation and management jobs created by publicly 
funded physical infrastructure in their communities.

    Objectives:
    1. Local residents will have access to skills and knowledge 
training that is necessary for employment on publicly funded physical 
infrastructure in their communities.
    2. The Denali Commission's investment in physical infrastructure 
will be protected by local residents trained to operate and maintain 
facilities.
    3. Workers from outside a community will not need to be imported to 
fill construction, operations and maintenance jobs necessary for 
publicly funded physical infrastructure.
    4. Communities will benefit from the increase in earnings from 
local residents employed on publicly funded physical infrastructure.
    Key Activities To Achieve Goals and Objectives:
     Provide funding to a coordinated training system 
including, regional and local coordination, career pathway information, 
specific training courses, union apprenticeship-based training and non-
union based training.
     Partner with the State of Alaska, native non-profit 
corporations, private sector, union-based training organizations, non-
union based training organizations and other Federal agencies to create 
a coordinated system to meet the training needs of local residents.
     Provide financial assistance to communities and 
organizations that will provide specific training to local residents to 
become employed on construction, operations and maintenance jobs 
created by publicly funded physical infrastructure projects.
    Performance Indicators:
     Increase the number of local area residents trained on 
construction, operations and maintenance of Denali Commission-funded 
physical infrastructure in Alaska by 5 percent annually.
     Increase the local resident payroll on Denali Commission 
funded projects by 2 percent annually.
     Increase the annual earnings of each local resident that 
completes Denali Commission funded training by 5 percent.

Goal 3: Rural Alaskans will have access to financial and 
technical resources necessary to build a cash economy to supplement the 
existing subsistence economy.

    Objectives:
    1. All Alaskans will have access to programs that provide 
entrepreneurial education. Technical assistance and business services 
will be available to entrepreneurs and business owners.
    2. Entrepreneurs will have access to capital resources appropriate 
for their circumstances including bank loans, micro loans, BIDCO loans, 
venture capital, SBA loans, USDA Rural Development loans, U.S. 
Department of Commerce EDA loans or grants.
    3. Support access to partnership funding for community based 
utilities, infrastructure and health delivery projects.
    Key Activities To Achieve Goals and Objectives:
     Financial assistance will be provided through the State 
Department of Community and Economic Development and the First Alaskans 
Foundation to assist entrepreneurs, communities and regional entities 
to develop economic capacity.
     Financial assistance will be provided to Alaska Growth 
Capital to enable that company to make loans and provide hands on 
technical assistance to entrepreneurs in economically distressed areas 
of Alaska.
     The Denali Commission will work with financial 
institutions, foundations and other entities as appropriate to create a 
revolving loan fund expressly for funding feasibility studies.
     A minimum of 2 partnerships will be facilitated annually 
leading to completed projects within five years.
    Performance Indicators:
     Minimum annual disbursement of financing by Alaska Growth 
Capital to business in communities defined as distressed by the Denali 
Commission will be $275,000.
     Annual payroll of projects financed through Alaska Growth 
Capital will be at least $90,000 and will increase annually by at least 
$30,000.
     A minimum of 5 feasibility studies for new business 
startups in economically distressed areas of Alaska will be funded 
annually from the revolving loan fund.

Goal 4: Federal and State agencies will simplify procedures, 
share information, and improve coordination to enhance and improve the 
efficiency of the delivery of services to Alaskans and the communities 
in which they reside.

    Objectives:
    1. The Denali Commission will limit its own administrative expenses 
to no more than 5 percent of its total budget and will ensure that all 
Denali Commission partners are kept to the lowest possible overhead 
needed to complete a project.
    2. The Denali Commission will work to gain acceptance of a single 
community developed comprehensive plan as the basis for all Federal and 
State agency funding.
    3. The Denali Commission will work to gain acceptance and 
utilization of a single comprehensive database for information (plans 
and project information) for rural Alaskan communities.
    Key Activities To Achieve Goals and Objectives:
     The Denali Commission will work with key State and Federal 
agencies to complete and periodically update a memorandum of agreement 
that outlines key actions necessary to achieve this goal.
     The Denali Commission will actively engage the Alaska 
Federal Executives Association, consistent with its charter, as a means 
to achieve this goal.
     The Denali Commission will seek the guidance and 
assistance of the State Co-Chair as he/she works with the Governor's 
cabinet to assist in meeting these goals and objectives.
     Agreements with Denali Commission program implementation

[[Page 28289]]

partners will be negotiated to achieve the minimum practicable overhead 
rates.
    Performance Indicators:
     Administrative expenses of Denali Commission will be 5 
percent or less.
     Denali Commission partners will be held to the lowest 
reasonable overhead costs needed to complete projects.
     An MOU will be reviewed annually, and updated as necessary 
to memorialize the commitment of federal and state agencies to this 
goal.
     Progress in meeting these goals and objectives will be 
documented annually.

Implementation Guiding Principles

     Projects must be sustainable. To assist with the 
implementation of this principle, an Investment Strategy has been 
drafted to ensure that the level of funding provided by the Denali 
Commission to infrastructure projects in small, declining and/or 
environmentally threatened communities serves a public purpose and is 
invested in the most conscientious and sustainable manner possible. 
(The Investment Strategy is available on the Denali Commission Web 
site: http://www.denali.gov.)
     The Denali Commission will generally not select individual 
projects for funding nor manage individual projects, but will work 
through existing State, Federal or other appropriate organizations to 
accomplish its mission.
     Projects in economically distressed communities will have 
priority for Denali Commission assistance.
     Projects should be compatible with local cultures and 
values.
     Projects that provide substantial health and safety 
benefit, and/or enhance traditional community values, will generally 
receive priority over those that provide more narrow benefits.
     Projects should be community-based and regionally 
supported.
     Projects should have broad public involvement and support. 
Evidence of support might include endorsement by affected local 
government councils (municipal, tribal, IRA, etc.), participation by 
local governments in planning and overseeing work, and local cost 
sharing on an ``ability to pay'' basis.
     Priority will generally be given to projects with 
substantial cost sharing.
     Priority will generally be given to projects with a 
demonstrated commitment to local hire.
     Denali Commission funds may supplement existing funding, 
but will not replace existing Federal, State, local government, or 
private funding.
     The Denali Commission will give priority to funding needs 
that are most clearly a federal responsibility.
     Denali Commission funds will not be used to create unfair 
competition with private enterprise.
    Additional Guiding Principles for Infrastructure:
     A project should be consistent with a comprehensive 
community or regional plan.
     Any organization seeking funding assistance must have a 
demonstrated commitment to operation and maintenance of the facility 
for its design life. This commitment would normally include an 
institutional structure to levy and collect user fees if necessary, to 
account for and manage financial resources, and having trained and 
certified personnel necessary to operate and maintain the facility.
    Additional Guiding Principles for Economic Development:
     Priority will be given to projects that enhance employment 
in high unemployment areas of the State (economically distressed), with 
emphasis on sustainable, long-term local jobs or career opportunities.
     Projects should be consistent with statewide or regional 
plans.
     The Denali Commission may fund demonstration projects that 
are not a part of a regional or statewide economic development plan if 
such projects have significant potential to contribute to economic 
development.
    Additional Guiding Principles for Training:
     Training should increase the skills and knowledge of local 
residents to become employed on jobs created by the Government's 
investment in public facilities in a community.
    Intergovernmental Coordination--The Memorandum of Understanding:
    The Denali Commission Act recognizes that our mission can be 
accomplished only through a collaborative, coordinated effort by the 
State of Alaska and key Federal agencies. The State of Alaska also 
recognizes benefits can be furthered if State agencies work in a 
collaborative and coordinated effort. With this in mind, Denali 
Commission has drawn up a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), which more 
than 20 agencies have agreed to, that outlines some points of agreement 
that will facilitate the collaboration and coordination necessary for 
achievement of the purposes of the Denali Commission and related 
missions of agencies who are parties to the MOU.
    The points of the MOU are:
     Sustainability. Federal and State agencies recognize the 
importance of utilizing sustainability principles when investing in 
public infrastructure projects.
     Regional Strategies. Systematic planning and coordination 
on a local, regional and statewide basis are necessary to achieve the 
most effective results from investment in infrastructure, economic 
development, and training.
     Community Plans. A single community strategic plan should 
be sufficient to identify and establish the priorities of each rural 
community.
     Sharing Information. Sharing information increases 
efficiencies and decreases duplication of services by State and Federal 
agencies.
     Economic Development. Economic development facilitates and 
supports the growth of self-sufficient communities.
     Non-Profit Organizations and Other Community 
Organizations. Non-profit and other organizations in Alaska are a 
valuable resource for State and Federal agencies. They provide regional 
planning, program support and partnering opportunities.
     Workforce Development (Vocational and Career Training). 
Workforce development is a critical component to building sustainable 
public infrastructure and self-sufficient communities in Alaska.

Appendix A

Needs Assessment Supporting Information

Power Utilities

    Identified Need: $300.8 million.
    Annual Funding: Denali Commission to establish.
    Source: AEA Assessment, 2000.
    Background: 178 communities were surveyed by the Alaska Energy 
Authority (AEA) which was completed in 2000. The total need for 
power utilities which includes power plant construction, 
rehabilitation, distribution, and cost reduction projects totals 
$300.8 million. The information presented below is separated by 
needs of communities that are part of the Alaska Village Electric 
Cooperative (AVEC) and all other remote communities.

AVEC

    $76,000,000--Power Plant Construction and Rehabilitation.
    $18,000,000--Wind Power Generation Projects.
    $1,800,000--Other Power Distribution.
    Total AVEC: $93,800,000.

Other Communities

    $131,000,000--Power Plant Construction and Rehabilitation.
    $20,000,000--Power Distribution Construction and Rehabilitation.
    $56,000,000--Energy Cost Reduction Projects*.
    Total for other communities: $207,000,000.
    Based upon current and projected funding, AEA anticipates 
completing the program of upgrading projects for communities outside 
of AVEC by 2015.


[[Page 28290]]


    *Energy Cost Reduction Projects include: Alternative Energy 
Projects (wind $30 million and hydro $20 million) and Energy 
Efficiency Upgrades $6 million.

    Bulk Fuel Storage
    Identified Need: $362.5 million.
    Annual Funding: $55 to $65 million Denali Commission Funding.
    Source: AEA Assessment, 2000.
    Background: The Alaska Energy Authority (AEA) initiated an 
assessment of bulk fuel tank farms in rural Alaska communities in 
1996. This assessment was completed in 2000. In September 2003, 
staff was requested to undertake an analysis of what it would take 
to complete the bulk fuel program in four more years of funding for 
the remaining communities in the AEA assessment. For Federal Fiscal 
Years 1999 through 2003, the Commission allocated $97.5 million to 
bulk fuel projects. Thirty three bulk fuel facilities have been 
completed with at least partial Commission funding. Another 13 fuel 
facilities are in construction, and 53 projects have received some 
level of design funding. AEA is responsible for 141 projects while 
the Alaska Village Electric Cooperative (AVEC) has assumed 
responsibility for 51 communities under construction agreements 
between the Commission and AVEC. To date (including the 2003 
construction season), AEA has upgraded 9,500,000 gallons of capacity 
and has projected that 11,000,000 of capacity remain to be upgraded. 
AVEC has completed 2.5 million gallons of fuel facility upgrades and 
has projected another 15.9 million gallons remain to be upgraded.
    The average project size AEA has undertaken is decreasing in 
size from an average of $2,100,000 in 2001 to a projected cost of 
$1,700,000 in 2004. The average cost of upgrading since 2001 
(including the 2003 Construction Season) is approximately $15.00 per 
gallon. It was not anticipated that this cost would increase over 
the next few years, however there has recently been a 50 percent 
increase in the cost of steel, so material costs are rising. AVEC 
projects tend to be larger, more expensive projects than AEA 
projects since they are generally in larger communities.
    The four year funding plan for bulk fuel indicates a need for 
$50 to $55 million for bulk fuel in FY04, and $55 to $65 million a 
year for the following three years, if projects are completed under 
our current standards and practices. This aggressive funding plan 
would result in completion of the known bulk fuel upgrade needs by 
the end of 2010.

Water and Wastewater

    Identified Need: $650 million (current). (FY02 estimate for 
Alaska Natives only). (Funded Fiscal years 1960-2002: $1.33 
billion).
    Annual Funding: There are 6 existing primary funding sources for 
developing and improving water and wastewater facilities in rural 
Alaska. Those sources and the amounts contributed in Federal fiscal 
year 2002 are shown below.

------------------------------------------------------------------------
 
------------------------------------------------------------------------
U.S. Public Health Service--Indian Health Service....        $17,863,000
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Drinking Water            3,958,200
 Tribal Set-Aside....................................
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Clean Water               7,053,100
 Tribal Set-Aside....................................
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Infrastructure           36,494,500
 Grant...............................................
U.S. Department of Agriculture-Rural Development.....         23,120,000
State of Alaska, Village Safe Water..................         19,873,370
    Total............................................        108,362,170
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    While these amounts vary from year to year, the annual average 
for fiscal years 1997 through 2002 is $85.7 million. The trend has 
been towards increased funding levels.
    Background: Assistance in developing water and wastewater 
facilities in rural Alaska is provided to communities through two 
programs. The Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium (ANTHC) is the 
organization responsible for administering Indian Health Service, 
and EPA Indian Set-Aside sanitation construction funds in Alaska. 
The Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation's Village Safe 
Water (VSW) program is the organization responsible for 
administering sanitation construction funds provided by the State, 
EPA (non-Tribal Set-Aside), and the USDA-Rural Development.
    Both ANTHC and VSW work with rural communities to plan design 
and construct sanitation systems. ANTHC and VSW have developed a 
close working relationship despite the relative recent transfer of 
the sanitation program from IHS to ANTHC in October 1998. The 
priority funding lists of both organizations are coordinated and 
generally complement each other. ANTHC predominately works in Alaska 
communities with Native-owned homes, whereas VSW works in all rural 
communities (Native and non-Native). A lead agency is designated for 
each community receiving assistance. Lead agencies typically have 
responsibility for administering all State and Federal funding in 
the community.
    Existing funding streams and programs are making progress 
towards satisfying the overall need for sanitation facilities in 
rural Alaska. An estimated remaining need of $650 million and a 
current funding level of $108 million combine to suggest a six-year 
timeframe for meeting the need.
    The Denali Commission has not targeted water and wastewater 
improvements as a major initiative for infrastructure funding due to 
the level of funding and effort already underway in this sector of 
critical infrastructure. However, the Commission is involved in 
improving planning and interagency coordination.

Primary Health Care Facilities

    Identified Need: $145 million from the Commission to fully 
address clinic needs.
    Annual Funding: Typically $25 to $30 million.
    Source: Annual funding is a mixture of Health Resources Services 
Administration (HRSA) funding and Denali Commission funding.
    Background: It is estimated that funding of $220 million will be 
needed in order to address the expected demand for primary care 
clinics after the FY04 funding cycle. At current match requirements, 
the Denali Commission estimated funding requirement will be $145 
million.
    The Commission has adopted a seven-year plan for development of 
primary care clinics based upon annual funding cycles of $25 to $30 
million. With this sustained funding level the Commission and its 
partners should be able to build or renovate a primary care clinic 
in every community in Alaska that wants such a facility and can 
demonstrate that clinic and the services are sustainable for 30 
years. The Commission is beginning Year 3 of the plan with a goal to 
discontinue funding in FY09 for primary care clinics except for 
expansions due to medical equipment upgrades and some renovations.

``Other Than'' Primary Health Care Facilities

    Identified Need: $322,000,000--new hospitals. $130,000,000--
expansion of existing Hospitals. $62,000,000--expansion of 
Behavioral Health Facilities.
    Annual Funding: Typically $6 million.
    Source: Annual funding is a mixture of Health Resources Services 
Administration (HRSA) funding and Denali Commission Base funding.
    Background: The estimated need for ``Other Than'' Primary Health 
Facilities which includes Hospitals, and Behavioral Health 
Facilities comes from the Denali Commission's April 16, 2003 White 
Paper on Expanding the Commission's Primary Care Program which can 
be found at the following link: http://www.denali.gov/Health Care/
Program--Documents/White Paper--Potential for Expanding the Denali 
Commission Primary Care Program to Other Types of Health Care 
Facilities.pdf.

Airport Facilities

    Identified Need: $1.3 billion.
    Annual Funding: $65--$90 million.
    Source: Transportation Needs and Priorities in Alaska (November 
2002) and Transportation Investment Analysis (Spring 2002), 
published by the State of Alaska Department of Transportation and 
Public Facilities (ADOT&PF).
    Background: Alaska's extensive aviation system plays a crucial 
role in the movement of people and goods throughout the State. In 
many parts of rural Alaska, aviation serves as the principal link 
between communities. There are 1,112 designated airports, seaplane 
bases, and aircraft landing areas in the State of Alaska. The 
ADOT&PF owns and operates 261 public airports, the majority of 
Alaska's

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public airports. Twenty three public airports are owned and operated 
by local governments.
    Nearly all of Alaska's airport capital improvements rely on 
funding from the Federal Aviation Trust Fund. This fund, supported 
by Federal taxes on airline tickets, cargo, and fuel, supplies 
monies for capital improvements through the Airport Improvement 
Program (AIP), which is authorized for funding on an annual basis. 
In recent years, AIP entitlement funds for Alaska's airports varied 
from approximately $65 million to $90 million annually. The State or 
local sponsor is required to contribute 6.25% in the form of match. 
The current AIP authorizing legislation expires on September 30, 
2003, and at this time, it is unknown what changes Congress may 
incorporate into the AIP legislation.

Road Construction and Major Maintenance

    Identified Need: $8.6 billion.
    Annual Funding: $260-$350 million.
    Source: Transportation Needs and Priorities in Alaska (November 
2002) and Transportation Investment Analysis (Spring 2002), 
published by the State of Alaska Department of Transportation and 
Public Facilities (ADOT&PF).
    Background: Improved surface transportation can have many 
positive effects including lowering costs for goods and services, 
improving village to village interaction, and allowing for State and 
Federal investments in schools, clinics, airports, harbors, and tank 
farms to serve more communities per project. Because of its vast 
geographic expanse and young age as a state, Alaska continues to 
require significant resources for transportation improvements.
    The list of unmet surface transportation needs in Alaska is 
about 1,950 projects with a total estimated cost approximating $8.6 
billion. The primary funding source for surface transportation 
projects in Alaska is Federal-aid highway funding, which flows 
through the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and the Federal 
Transit Administration (FTA). State funds are required to match 
these Federal funds; for most highway projects, the Federal ratio is 
91 percent.
    The State of Alaska administers most of the FHWA funding 
allocated to Alaska with the exception of money specifically 
designated for the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA), which currently 
amounts to approximately $17 million per year. One important 
distinction between FHWA and BIA funding for roads is the long-term 
maintenance obligation. Under FHWA, the recipient is responsible for 
maintenance in perpetuity, with no Federal support for this 
activity. Under the BIA funding system, such roads are then added to 
the Indian Reservation Road system (IRR) and are eligible for a 
share of a national pot of money allocated to maintenance of IRR 
roads.
    Through the recent TEA-21 era, average funding levels have been 
approximately $350 million per year, up substantially from the 
approximately $220 million under ISTEA (1991-1997). Most FHWA 
funding received by the State stays in larger auto-dependent 
communities, with some funding going to rural communities largely 
for sanitation roads and trail markings. Funding for projects off 
the road system goes primarily to the larger hub communities.

Port Facilities

    Identified Need: $300 million.
    Annual Funding: $7 to $15 million.
    Source: Transportation Needs and Priorities in Alaska (November 
2002) and Transportation Investment Analysis (Spring 2002), 
published by the State of Alaska Department of Transportation and 
Public Facilities (ADOT&PF).
    Background: With over 30,000 miles of shoreline, relatively few 
roads, and 90 percent of the state's population living within ten 
miles of the coast or along a major river, Alaska's marine 
facilities are integral to the local, statewide, and international 
transportation of goods and people.
    Ports and harbors have no Federal capital assistance program 
comparable to the highway and airport funding programs. Federal 
funds for ports and harbors come through the U.S. Army Corps of 
Engineers. The Corps distributes funding on a nationally 
competitive, project-by-project basis. State and local communities 
in Alaska have been awarded between $7 and $15 million annually in 
Federal funding for all Corps of Engineers programs in recent years. 
For construction, the Corps requires between 20 and 35 percent match 
for projects such as dredging basins, docks, floats, grids, and 
upland facilities. Though not a dedicated funding source, the Marine 
Users Fuel Tax is the traditional foundation of small boat harbor 
improvements in the State, and general obligation bonds have been 
the foundation of State assisted port development.

Telecommunications

    Identified Need: Unknown.
    Annual Funding: $15 million in FY03 and FY04 funding for 
Regulatory Commission of Alaska's Rural Broadband Internet Grant 
Program. Several other funding support mechanisms including 
Universal Service Fund also exist.
    Background: In January 2001, the Denali Commission, in 
partnership with the State of Alaska, completed an inventory of 
available telecommunication services in rural Alaska. Among other 
findings, the inventory found that 61 percent of all Alaskan 
communities do not have access to local dial-up Internet service. 
This identified need is being addressed through the Regulatory 
Commission of Alaska's Rural Broadband Internet Grant Program, 
Telecommunications Industry investment resulting in expansion of 
Internet offerings in most rural communities in the next one to 
three years.

Solid Waste Disposal Facilities

    Identified Need: Unknown.
    Annual Funding: Generally less than $1,000,000.
    Background: Solid waste disposal is a necessity for all rural 
Alaska communities as it is for every community in the country. 
Observation would indicate that the majority of rural Alaska 
communities do not have facilities that meet basic legal 
requirements for solid waste disposal. The Denali Commission 
received $1 million in FY04 funding from USDA for the development of 
solid waste facilities in rural Alaska. Development of this 
innovative program and identification of projects is ongoing.

Community Facilities

    Identified Need: Unknown.
    Annual Funding: Unknown.
    Background: Communities have a need for community assembly 
facilities for various purposes, including planning, meetings, 
traditional functions, and recreation for youth. These facilities, 
when available, are heavily used in rural communities.

Appendix B

Program Principles--Supporting Information

Rural Infrastructure Development

    In the evolution of the Denali Commission and its approach to 
infrastructure development some principles have been established. 
These include the following:
     Selection of infrastructure themes for allocating 
funds. In FY99 rural energy was selected as the primary 
infrastructure theme. That priority was continued in FY00, and is 
expected to continue in FY01 and beyond. In FY00 rural health care 
facilities were selected as the second infrastructure theme. Other 
themes may be selected in future years.
     Selection of program/project partners to carry out 
infrastructure development. The Alaska Energy Authority (AEA) was 
selected as the Denali Commission's first partner for rural energy 
projects. AEA was selected because of its demonstrated capability to 
prioritize and implement rural energy projects. The Alaska Village 
Electric Cooperative was selected as the second energy partner and 
Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium was selected as the 
Commission's primary partner for clinic design and construction. The 
overriding point in selection of a program/project partner is that 
the Commission wishes to utilize existing capabilities provided by 
State or Federal agencies or other organizations. More than one 
partner may be identified to participate in carrying out Commission 
sponsored programs/projects for a particular theme.
     Project selection by the Commission and/or the program/
project partner must be defendable and credible. In the case of AEA, 
two separate comprehensive statewide project priority lists had been 
developed--one for bulk fuel storage facilities, and a second for 
power generation/distribution projects. As in the case of AEA the 
Commission will utilize existing credible priority systems. Where a 
credible statewide priority methodology for a selected theme does 
not exist, the Commission in cooperation with appropriate 
organizations will foster the development of a system. This is 
illustrated by the Commission's efforts in partnership with the 
Alaska Department of Health and Social Services, the Indian Health 
Service, and the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium to develop a 
prioritization methodology for primary health care facilities.
     Theme selection is a methodical process. The Commission 
has stressed the importance

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of comprehensive investigation and exploration of infrastructure 
themes so that Commission resources are strategically funneled to 
``gaps'' in State and Federal funding streams. Carrying out needs 
assessments on various infrastructure themes is central to the 
development of a theme. Energy, telecommunications, and rural 
primary health care facilities are examples of assessments that were 
initiated in conjunction with interested State and Federal agencies 
in the Commission's first year.
     Commission partners are responsible for compliance with 
procedural and substantive legal requirements. It is the expectation 
of the Denali Commission that partners will comply with all 
applicable local, State and Federal laws in carrying out Commission 
funded programs/projects. For example, the partner must address NEPA 
and OSHA regulations, Federal auditing requirements, competitive 
procurement issues and so forth. As a result, the Commission will 
look to partners who have demonstrated both administrative and 
program/project management success.
     Adherence to the successful project management elements 
of time, budget and quality. Each of these factors is central to 
Denali Commission agreements with partners. The Commission wants to 
put our partners in a position of success in meeting the triple 
constraint of project management; deliver the project on time, on 
budget and completion of the full project scope in a cost effective 
manner. The challenge to the Commission is to allow sufficient 
flexibility for each partner to carry out the programs/projects 
within their own established methods while assuring confident 
project completion and meeting all requirements of applicable laws 
and regulations. For example, the AEA employs a project methodology 
that relies heavily on force account construction (locally sponsored 
government crews). AEA also uses construction contracting to a 
lesser degree. In short, each agreement with a partner organization 
must be tailored to fit their approach to program/project 
management.

Rural Energy Approach

    AEA has employed a two-step approach to bulk fuel project 
funding that is strongly supported by the Commission. Starting at 
the top of the AEA priority list, projects are provided 35% design 
funds one or more years before being eligible for capital funding. 
This allows for more accurate project cost estimates, resolution of 
easement and land issues, development of agreements between various 
local parties in site selection and tank farm ownership/maintenance. 
This step also serves to filter projects that are not ready for 
construction, for one reason or another, from advancing to the 
second step of project funding. This two-step approach ensures that 
funding does not sit unused by projects that are not ready for 
construction. Once a project has resolved any obstacles at the 35% 
design stage, then they are eligible for capital funding.
    AEA will reevaluate its priority list from time to time in order 
to factor in new information, particularly information from the 
statewide energy strategy. This reevaluation may result in some 
modification of the list. Funding priorities will also be subject to 
``readiness to proceed'' considerations as described in part above.

Rural Primary Care Facilities Approach

    In the past, communities constructed clinics based upon 
available grant funds (typically community development bl