By Melinda Munson
The Municipality’s Emergency Assistance and Economic Stimulus Program (EAESP) dispersed its second round of $1,000 checks to each qualified Skagway resident on July 15. August’s EAESP payment will be cut in half in an effort to make the program, which had more applicants than expected and started one month earlier, to stay solvent through December.
“With the popularity of this program and the $1 million business for grants, I have concerns that we will run short of funding in the winter months when people are going to need it most,” said Borough Manager Brad Ryan. “…I intend to cut the August disbursement to $500 per qualified applicant.”
The Assembly gave Ryan the authority to increase or decrease EAESP payments, funded through the CARES Act, when they passed Resolution 20-22R. Ryan is hoping residents will have a financial cushion to get them through August as they should have received two full EAESP payments from the Municipality as well as the state Permanent Fund Dividend, $992 per Alaskan, which was issued in July instead of October.
Ryan said he considered changing the Municipality disbursement to $1,000 for the first two household members and $750 for each additional member, but as Skagway has fewer families and more single residents, the change would only save around $50,000.
September’s EAESP payout will revert back to the original $1,000.
Residents should pick up their August payment from City Hall on Aug. 19 by 5 p.m., with ID.
If someone living in Skagway has difficulty getting to City Hall, a Municipality employee will be available to deliver checks.