By Leigh Armstrong 

The borough assembly on June 20 approved $248,000 in funding to 10 community nonprofits, a $30,200 increase from last year’s total. The funding is for the fiscal year that starts July 1.

The organizations gaining funding from the grants are: 

• Skagway Fine Arts Council – $12,000

• KHNS – $20,000

• Chamber of Commerce – $40,000

• Skagway Development Corporation – $87,400

• Southeast Senior Services – $19,000

• Youth Organization Grants – $5,000

• Daycare assistance programs – $40,000

• North Words Writers Symposium – $12,500

• The First Presbyterian Church – $2,500

• Skagway Traditional Council – $10,000

There are a total of 10 organizations receiving grants, compared to 2019’s nine. Skagway Fine Arts Council, the First Presbyterian Church and the Skagway Traditional Council didn’t receive a grant last year. Last year, grants were given for the Princess Sophia Project and a van for Southeast Senior Services that weren’t requested this year. 

Under the daycare assistance grants, there are four organizations that received $10,000 each.

In approving the grants, the assembly also reversed its decision of March to change the annual application and approval process for community grants this year. Those changes would have limited any single grant recipient to no more than 10 percent of the total and would have limited grants in many cases to no more than 50 percent of the program’s total cost. The approval plan for community grants is now set to be go into effect for 2020.

Only nonprofit organizations and registered charities over a year old, with services available to the general public in Skagway are eligible. 

Assemblymember Steve Burnham had proposed the changes that were approved in March to “level the playing field” for applicants and to help get out information about the municipal program.  

In voting June 20 to reverse itself and stick with the current grant process, Assemblymember Orion Hanson said he would like to revisit the program in the future but keeping with the same process now is the best move for Skagway.