Local News

$24.7 Million USDA loan approved for ballot


At Tuesday’s evening’s regular Borough Assembly meeting, Assembly members approved a second reading of the proposed ordinance authorizing the city and borough to provide USDA a first lien on approximately 29 acres of property for the new hospital facility and for the Wrangell Medical Center replacement facility to pay the USDA loan if approved by the USDA in the amount of $24,700,000 towards the constructions of the replacement facility.

This ordinance also authorizes submission to qualified voters of the borough at the special election held on November 15th, of a proposition approving this ordinance and ratifying the authorization of the pledge of the borough property and future of the WMC as the security to USDA, and providing for an effective date.

In persons to be heard resident Wayne Kaer spoke up on matter of the new hospital facility design. Kaer says he’s concerned on the proposed hospital flat roof design, and urges the Borough Assembly as well as the Hospital Board and architect to consider a sloped roof.

“It’s something you need to think about, we are going to spend $29 million, and if we go flat roof we have nothing. And if it goes flat roof, I for one will vote against it,” he says.

City Manager Timothy Rooney notes the two remaining contracts with Layton Construction and AHFD concerning the hospital replacement facility project have reached tentative agreements with the city and will go before the Assembly by the October 11th meeting.

In other New Business Irene Ingle Public Library Director Kay Jabusch spoke on the approval of a bid received from the Library Corporation to provide the library automation and management system project for the Irene Ingle Public Library. Jabusch says the automation system will modernize the library and make it more uniform with other libraries around the state of Alaska.

“The thing that I think people will really notice especially in the summer time when our circulation and the number of items we check out increases from 2000 to 4000 in a month and where currently it takes ten steps for every book you check out but the new automation management system will all be touch screen and you will be able to tell if the book is checked in or checked out. It will just be a lot better service,” she says.

The library automation system costs $85,540 and is funded through grants from the Rasmussen Foundation, The USDA, the state of Alaska DCCED, and the Alaska State Library. And in other bids awarded, the assembly approved the funding of $25,000 from the Economic Recovery fund for the new city website redesign project. The project has been awarded to aha! Consulting and this will be the first website design done since 2001.

City Clerk Christie Jamieson reminds the public the deadline for write in candidates for the October 4th election is this Friday September 30th by 5pm. For more information on elections or the city you can contact city hall at 874-2381. To listen to the entire Borough Assembly meeting from September 27th you can go to KSTK.org.
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