Among the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan Act are pockets of funding that could advance projects on the Kenai Peninsula.
Tim Dillon, executive director of the Kenai Peninsula Economic Development District, is working with communities and organizations to match projects with available sources of money.
“There are six different pots of money and trying to see if a particular project fits into one of those six, and then doing some analysis to see if they really have a chance of getting it funded,” Dillon said. “… Everything from the tourism side to Build Back Better, just a variety of different things that really assist with your community at one letter or another.”
They’re looking at a variety of projects across the peninsula, from riverfront development to a shovel-ready airport project, cruise ship dock electrical upgrades, adding water to public restrooms and improving trails facilities. They’re not high-dollar projects but they might have a difficult time getting funded elsewhere.
One of the pots of money is for travel, tourism and outdoor recreation. But Dillon says projects need to have a larger reach than just benefiting visitors.
“Things that we believe will tie into the visitors, the tourism side and assist with workforce. And if we can check a variety of those different boxes, those are some of the kinds of projects that we’re trying to navigate through the system,” Dillon said.
Dillon estimates the peninsula will end up with 25 to 30 projects to submit for funding.
Application deadlines are rolling but most are due by March 2022, though KPEDD plans to have projects ready to submit by Christmas.