Checks or buildings?

From now until December, many in Alaska may wish they lived in Skagway.

The 1,100 or so residents of that small Southeast community will receive checks capped at $1,000 monthly for each household member, including children. Recipients must demonstrate need and show how the money is used. The broad categories for receiving the money include housing, utilities, groceries and household needs, insurance and other expenses.

It is part of the city’s Emergency Assistance and Economic Stimulus Program established by the Skagway Assembly.

The program authorizes the stimulus checks to the roughly 1,100 year-round residents, many of them seasonal workers, affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Skagway will use $1.4 million from the $2.9 million it received from the federal CARES Act to fund the monthly stimulus checks.. reports Skagway will be able to pull it off because it is a small community with a “healthy municipal savings account.”

From our perspective, it simply is a city – unlike Anchorage – that does not want to spend $22.5 million of its CARES Act funding for four pieces of property – while removing $300,000 from the tax rolls – to deal with about 1,000 homeless.

It is all a matter of priorities, we guess.

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