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Assembly on taxes, totems and trash

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The Borough Assembly discussed taxes, a watershed mitigation fund, and the resignation of the borough manager.

The Assembly discussed the Southeast Watershed Coalition Mitigation Fund. The Watershed Coalition is seeking to establish an in-lieu fee program.

This would mean that a company needing to compensate for damage to a watershed could pay a fee rather than protect a specific in-kind plot of land.

In other new business, it approved the leasing of Lots 5, 6, and 7 in the Boat Yard contingent upon each of the lessees having certificates of insurance.

Assembly member Christie Jamieson brought a new topic to the table.

Members of the public have expressed concern about the refuse, including old cars, in the Shoemaker Bay area.

Jamieson hopes there can be a clean-up effort.

“I’d like to know what the conditions of the leases are, for those leaseholders out there. My husband and I take a drive out there every Sunday and it’s such a mess out there,” said Jamieson.

There was also a first reading of Ordinance 869. It’s the approval to place an ordinance lowering Wrangell’s tax rates on the ballot.

The Assembly could not take any direct action to adjust the city’s tax rates at the meeting, but community members can expect to hear more about this issue in the future.

Assembly member Ernie Christian discussed some of the Wrangell Cooperative Association Transportation’s long-range goals.

“And one suggestion was that we want to identify Wrangell as a native community. Whether it’s a point of entry, or—like the airport to have totem poles in the parking lot with an arch over it. A couple of exciting ideas like that were tossed around. We’re still at the beginning stage but I’ll bring that forward when we get closer. I’m sure we’ll be including the city and borough in that,” said Christian.

Borough Manager Tim Rooney gave an update on the status of the rock quarry and asphalt plant out on Brett Woodbury’s property around 9 mile.

“At the Planning Commission meeting, they approved the batch plant to operate at a rock quarry. However, there was not enough room at the rock quarry to fit the asphalt plant. So they are currently operating out of the old mill property, which is zoned industrial and is okay for that use. That’s where they’re going to be operating from and that’s probably actually better for everyone involved,” said Rooney.

At the last Planning and Zoning Commission meeting, the public was split about the potential health issues associated with an asphalt plant in a residential area.

The open spot on the Planning and Zoning Commission still has not been filled. It will continue to be advertised.

Jamieson sent out thanks and congratulations to people in town.

“I would like to thank the Wrangell Chamber of Commerce and the queen candidates for all of their hard work and effort preparing for the upcoming Fourth of July events. Without them, most likely, there wouldn’t be a Fourth of July. I would like to congratulate Kim on her upcoming wedding. I would also like to send congratulations to KSTK’s newest manager, Cindy Sweat,” said Jamieson.

She and the rest of the assembly also thanked Rooney for his service to the City and Borough and wished him luck in Oklahoma.

There were two executive sessions following the meeting. The first was to discuss Borough Clerk Kim Flores’s evaluation. The second was to discuss the potential replacement of Rooney.

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