In June the Certificate of Need for the replacement hospital facility was resolved by the state and since then the City and Borough have been working to resolve a number of contracts for the construction of the new facility. Wrangell City Manager Timothy Rooney says contracts include those with David E. Johnsons Architect firm, Layton Construction, and the American Health Facilities Development.

“They’re all pertaining to various different parts of construction. The architects design the building and are getting the documents ready for bidding, Layton construction is the construction manager, and they would be responsible for bidding out the entire sub contracting work in association with the hospital, and AHFD is the project manager for the project and they oversee all aspects of the project," he says.

Rooney says because the city owns the facility it’s their responsibility to make sure the contracts are done correctly and with proper legal review.

“Previously the contracts were not reviewed by the Borough Assembly and the Borough Assembly by the code is responsible for any contracts dealing with construction so they are required to review them, we have our attorney looking at them as well because it was our understanding they had not been reviewed by legal counsel.”

He says Friday, August 5th both the City and the Hospital met with the USDA to review the stages of the project and the progress of the contracts. USDA’s Rural Development Community Programs Director Merlaine Kruse says Friday’s meeting was a step in the right direction.

“I thought it was a really constructive positive meeting on everybody’s part, both the hospital and the city. It looks like things are moving forward. And we are looking forward to the construction of the hospital to begin soon,” she says.

All contracts will need to be approved by the Borough Assembly and Rooney says he expects all the contracts to be taken to the Borough Assembly for review by August 23rd or in a special meeting in September. Once all the contracts are approved a special election will be called by the citizens of Wrangell to vote on the hospital project and the acceptance of debt that would come along with the new hospital. Elections will likely be in November or December.
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