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Assembly approves marine hoist, road and utility repairs

Tuesday evening’s Borough Assembly meeting was smooth and efficient as Assembly members unanimously approved every proposal on the agenda.

The Assembly authorized the Borough Manager to enter into a contract with Italian company ASCOM S.p.A. to purchase a 300-ton marine vessel hoist for Wrangell’s Marine Service Center.  The initial period for companies to bid for the sale ended in November.  There were two companies with qualified bids, the Italian firm and the North American company Travelift.  The bid from ASCOM S.p.A. was substantially cheaper than its competition coming in at nearly $400,000 less.  After a thorough study and hands-on testing, PND engineers and hoist operators found no significant difference between the two firms’ equipment.

The final contract is for a purchase amount of $1,315,000 which will be paid by a grant from the State of Alaska Department of Commerce, Community, and Economic Development.  The city received the grant for $2.75 million dollars last year.  The remaining funds will be used to make dock repairs and other improvements at the Marine Service Center.

The city received another State of Alaska grant for the Cassiar Street Roadway and Utilities Improvement Project.  The Assembly voted to approve a design contract for the second stage of the project to the company R & M Engineering-Ketchikan, the same firm who successfully completed the first phase.

Last night’s meeting was the first time the Assembly took a look at an ordinance to amend the Borough’s municipal code that deals with remote zoning in Wrangell.

There will be a public hearing on this issue on January 22nd.

Finally, the Assembly approved three resolutions affecting city employees.  The resolutions will update employees’ job descriptions to bring them in line with federal and state laws including the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Family Medical Leave Act, Affirmative Action, and federal immigration law.  These changes will also guarantee protection for whistle-blowers and require compliance with drug testing.

Although the change of certain job descriptions will mean a corresponding change of job titles and pay plan, it will not affect any employee’s current pay.

On a more personal note, the Assembly bid farewell and good luck to Maria Weeg and former mayor Jeremy Maxand as they move on to new endeavors.

City Hall will be closed on January 21st in observance of the Martin Luther King Junior holiday.

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