PUBLISHED: 12:51 PM on Wednesday, July 5, 2006
Village corporation focuses on Angoon
Kootznoowoo, Inc., the ANCSA village corporation for the City of Angoon met at the middle school gym on Saturday June 17th. The meeting was well attended with nearly 78 percent of shares voted. Two directors, Ella Bennett and H. Jean Hogue, were re-elected.

"This type of continuity is encouraging," said Peter Naoroz, the company's general manager and president, in his annual meeting remarks. He said that the theme of the meeting - "Angoon Today and Tomorrow" - reflected the corporation's focus on Angoon, home to many shareholders and the location of substantial corporate assets.

Naoroz said that with the cooperation of shareholders, Angoon had a bright future. The room was quiet as he reviewed the sobering social and economic factors and statistics from the past 15 years. Naoroz asked those present to actively support the corporation's efforts to make the Thayer Lake Hydro facility become a reality. The proposed "run of river" hydroelectric project would be sited about six miles north of Angoon.

"Putting this basic infrastructure in place is a necessary first step to attract new businesses to Angoon," he said. Angoon's electricity is now generated by increasingly expensive diesel fuel.

Several of those present said the meeting was different from previous years as the attitude of the attendees was more reflective.

"The shareholders gave more attention to the presenters, asked informed questions and expressed heartfelt concern," said a former city official and long time resident.

Generous gifts were contributed by many local businesses. Naoroz praised Greens Creek Mine for donating what he described as a very special gift - $7,500 for the Kootznoowoo Cultural and Education Fund to fund scholarships and to commence a canoe construction project.

Matt Kookesh, chairman of the board, announced the creation of a taskforce to implement a series of recommendations on acceptable and desirable business opportunities for Angoon.

This announcement occurred after a roundtable discussion by several speakers including Meagan Gleason, a graduate of the Angoon High School who now works for the Juneau Economic Development Council, Brad Fluetsch - the keynote speaker - who discussed "Gross Village Product" and Brian Andrews a financial manager for the Kootznoowoo Permanent Fund Settlement Trust. Gleason's presentation focused on the need for innovative approaches to economic developments that will provide sustainable jobs and boost Angoon's economic base.

Fluetsch's presentation spoke to traditional ideas of trade, products for sale and services in the context of a modern economy. Vice Chairman Richard George honored Fluetsch for his presentation and previous service to Kootznoowoo.

Directors Edward Gamble, Jr. and Peter Jack, Sr. spoke to a brighter future based on hard work, education and new jobs.