The Wrangell Borough Assembly discussed a policy proposal Tuesday for a system to choose local contractors to work on borough projects.

The policy would create a pool of qualified, licensed contractors to be hired for projects that cost less than $25,000.

Borough Manager Jeff Jabusch said the policy would give Wrangell contractors an equal opportunity to participate in city work.

“Our whole purpose of this, as an example, is if we have to get three quotes, we’re not getting quotes from someone in Petersburg or Ketchikan. This is for our local contractors,” Jabusch said.

Harley Johnson and John Taylor run construction companies in Wrangell. At the meeting, they expressed support for the proposal and suggested some changes.

Assembly members decided to postpone the vote to their next meeting in January.

The assembly also heard from former Wrangell Medical Center Chief Financial Officer Olinda White.

White said the hospital has over $4 million in accounts receivable and lacks extra operating money. She said she has instructed hospital staff to make minor cutbacks.

“Basically, I’ve told them if we don’t need this to stay open tomorrow, you don’t buy it. I don’t care if you think we need it down the road, we have to cut back,” White said. “Because we’ve got to get this cash under control and get the finances under control.”

These financial problems stem from a faulty Medicaid system that has failed to reimburse the hospital for patient care.