Wrangell Assembly chambers at City Hall.
(Sage Smiley / KSTK)

Wrangell’s borough assembly will consider approving a $1.59 million contribution to the Wrangell Public School District’s budget for the next year at its meeting Tuesday (May 10). That would be an increase of about $300,000 compared to the borough’s contribution to the school district in recent years. The school district’s superintendent wrote in a letter to the assembly that the district has made cuts, but rising costs leave the budget with a shortfall unless the borough is able to contribute more to the schools next year. 

The assembly is also scheduled to consider putting the former Wrangell Medical Center facility and property on Bennett Street out for public auction. The property has been valued at $830,000. But if bids went over $1 million, Wrangell voters would have to approve the sale. Wrangell’s assembly will discuss options for how to go about timing a sale and following local code if a special ballot measure is needed to approve the sale. 

At its Tuesday meeting, the assembly will also hold a public hearing on a new vessel impoundment policy at the community’s ports and harbors that would put more of the liability for the disposal of derelict vehicles on vessel owners. 

Wrangell’s assembly is also set to discuss negotiations with the regional Tribal healthcare provider Southeast Alaska Regional Health Consortium. SEARHC is not required to pay local property taxes on the hospital it owns and operates in the community, but is negotiating a “payment in lieu of taxes” agreement with the borough. 

Wrangell’s assembly will also consider a $330,000 purchase of parts to upgrade electrical transformers. The purchase of parts represents only a part of the total $570,000 project cost aimed at beefing up the community’s power infrastructure, but borough officials say it’s important to purchase early, since the pieces could take more than a year to be procured with current supply chain issues.

Other agenda items include discussion of a potential timber appraisal at the borough’s Sunny Bay property on the mainland south of Deer Island, updates to borough investment code, and increases to the rates on some five-year borough tidelands leases. 

The full meeting agenda can be found online at wrangell.com under the “Meetings” tab. Anyone wishing to speak at the meeting can sign up on the “Persons to be Heard” list located at City Hall. The meeting will be broadcast on KSTK at 101.7 FM and online at KSTK.org.

This article has been updated with a correction to the name of the Southeast Alaska Regional Health Consortium.

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