City Agrees to Provide $4.4 Million for NJUS Fuel Purchase

Photo: Matthew F. Smith, KNOM.

Nome Joint Utility System will receive a $4.4 million revenue anticipation note from the City of Nome to buy diesel fuel.

According to Utilities Manager John Handeland, this purchase will provide for their full capacity of fuel, 3.2 million gallons.

The total cost for NJUS on this loan will be roughly $4,431,000, which includes the accrued interest from last year’s note and paying for port fees.

Instead of continuing to get the loan from Wells Fargo bank, NJUS is getting its one-year loan from Northrim Bank beginning on July 12th.

Handeland pointed out that the decision to go with Northrim was not correlated with Wells Fargo dropping its Iditarod sponsorship.

“It doesn’t have anything to do with the Iditarod. I did note in my memo to the (Iditarod) Board that yes, indeed, they had pulled out of Iditarod. They also had pulled their local banker (business manager) out of Nome; there is no longer a business manager here. But this was based on sound business.”

Before the Council adjourned its special meeting, it unanimously passed a resolution to make water and sewer infrastructure upgrades in Nome higher up on the to-do list.

Handeland explains how making this project the number-one local priority helps their chances of getting matching funds:

“This is a resolution that we ask for annually at this time. We are expecting the State will be putting out their municipal matching grant program again, but it is a competitive rating, and by having the community show that this is the number one priority, there is an additional 50 points that are awarded in our scoring.”

Nome’s City Council is scheduled to convene for its next regular meeting on Monday, July 10th at 7pm in Council Chambers.