Town, viewed from Campbell Drive. (Sage Smiley / KSTK)

Wrangell’s $5 million General Fund budget for the coming year has been officially approved by the assembly. But there’s still work to be done. 

That’s for a few reasons. There are departments that still have accounting to finish before the end of the fiscal year. There are revenues that haven’t been tallied on the balance sheet. And, borough manager Lisa Von Bargen told the assembly at their Tuesday (June 22) meeting, Wrangell’s  finance director position is still vacant leaving less people to do more.

“The plan moving forward is to work through all of these closeout activities that need to be done,” Von Bargen explained, “And then systematically start to bring to the assembly, every meeting a couple of these budgets for you to review in detail and look at and then we will make whatever amendments are necessary. We already know — I already know — even though I’m handing you a budget here, that there are going to have to be some substantive changes.”

While portions of the budget aren’t set in stone, the picture now is mostly positive. Between state and federal funding, local sales and property taxes, and other revenues, Wrangell’s administration projects taking in about $1 million more than it plans to spend. And it closed out the debt service fund this year. 

“Zero,” Von Bargen said with excitement. “We don’t have any money to pay this year. So that means that is also about a $270,000 hit that normally came out of the sales tax fund into the debt service fund that won’t be going [this year].”

Wrangell has hired a new finance director: Mason Villarma, coming to Wrangell from Washington State. But he won’t be on the job until the early fall.
This article has been updated to clarify that the entire borough budget for FY22 did not total $5 million.

Get in touch with KSTK at or (907) 874-2345.