The Wrangell Borough Assembly last week made water main replacement and Shoemaker Bay float construction its top two priorities for capital project funding.
In the next fiscal year (Fiscal Year 2017), Wrangell will ask the state for close to $500,000 for water main replacements and $5 million to build a new float system at Shoemaker Bay Harbor.
For the fiscal year that starts July 1, swimming pool repairs and boat yard improvements topped Wrangell’s capital budget request list. But the state did not give Wrangell any capital funding for Fiscal Year 2016.
Wrangell officials hope that will change a year from now.
Borough Manager Jeff Jabusch said the water main is failing in several parts of town. But the first chunk of funding will pay for replacements at Fifth Avenue, Spring Street and Grave Street.
“I think they’re pretty much held together by the patches we put in them,” Jabusch said. “There’s something about the material in the ground there or something that has taken a pipe that’s supposed to last 50 years and you maybe get 15 out of it.”
About 1200 feet of pipes on those three streets would be replaced.
Keeping that project and the float replacement project at the top of the list could help Wrangell’s position in a competitive grant process.
Pool repairs were bumped to third on the list, and boat yard improvements are fourth.
The borough assembly will not know if any projects receive funding until next spring.
The borough assembly also gave first-round approval for a new Parks and Recreation fee schedule.
The assembly rejected a previous attempt to change Parks and Rec facility fees.
Borough Assembly Member Julie Decker said the new fee increases are not as drastic as the previous plan.
“I think these are increasing, going the right direction, as far as trying to raise some more revenues,” Decker said. “We understand there are some issues with maintenance of the pool so the community needs to pay its fair share of that. And I think this is a much better plan, so I appreciate it.”
The new fee schedule would increase the cost of a one-day pool pass but decrease the cost of a monthly pass. It also includes a new pass system for athletic teams to use the community center and a new process for requesting fee assistance.
The Parks and Rec fee increases will go to a public hearing and second reading in this month.