Wrangell’s City Hall. (Sage Smiley / KSTK)

Wrangell’s proposed General Fund budget is projected to remain relatively flat compared to last year’s budget. The assembly is set to adopt the budget on Tuesday following a public hearing at its regular meeting (June 22).

According to documents prepared by the city manager, Wrangell’s proposed General Fund budget is $5.02 million for the coming year. It’s just $30,000 dollars more than the $4.9 million adopted budget last year, and will keep the City & Borough in the black. 

That’s because Wrangell projects to take in just over $6.05 million this year. Almost two-thirds of the borough’s revenue ($3.92 million) will come from Wrangell taxpayers through property and sales tax payments. The borough assembly levied this year’s property taxes earlier this month, keeping the mill rate the same

Wrangell also expects to receive $1.5 million in state and federal money, most of which are ongoing funds, and not disaster relief. 

Many of the budget increases proposed for the upcoming fiscal year come from employee training and travel expenses that were taken out of the current budget during the pandemic, and contractual salary increases. Equipment upgrades also present new expenses for many departments, including the borough administration, electric department, and Public Safety. 

Some departments, like the borough-run electric utility, sanitation, and the Nolan Center — which houses the Wrangell museum, theater, and serves as a community center — are projected to operate at a loss. If all goes according to plan, Parks & Recreation will break even, according to a packet with detailed breakdowns of most of the department budgets for the coming year. 

The borough’s budget documents also propose using all of the $1.3 million in its economic recovery fund to start development on the former Institute Property site that housed a Bureau of Indian Affairs boarding school until the mid-1970s. Under the current plan, the property will be subdivided into mixed commercial and residential lots. 

Borough documents say that most of Wrangell’s debt is in the enterprise fund of the Public Works department, but the budget details of the enterprise fund weren’t online as of Monday morning. 

Wrangell paid off bond debt in every part of the budget besides the enterprise fund of the Public Works department. 

As of April 30, Wrangell’s investments totaled at just under $10.5 million. 

Wrangell’s assembly will hold a public hearing on the proposed budget at 7 p.m. on Tuesday (June 22). The Wrangell Assembly will be responsible for reviewing and approving the budget. Anyone wishing to speak at the public hearing on the borough budget for the coming year can call City Hall at 874-2381 or email clerk@wrangell.com

This article has been updated to clarify which parts of the budget are referenced.

Get in touch with KSTK at news@kstk.org or (907) 874-2345.