Wrangell’s assembly is considering whether to ask the community to take on a $15 million bond debt, which would fund two major infrastructure projects in town. 

At a work session before the borough assembly’s Tuesday evening meeting (July 26), Wrangell’s elected leaders will hear presentations from borough and school district officials on the two projects and the potential accompanying bonds. 

One would take on $10.5 million of bond debt towards the first phase of rehabilitation for Wrangell’s aging Public Safety Building, and the other $4.5 million bond would go towards a major maintenance project for Wrangell’s public schools. 

At this point, Wrangell’s assembly is still gathering information. If assembly members move forward, bond proposals would be formally considered at two borough meetings in August. Local stakeholders must also approve bonds, so Wrangell voters would be asked whether or not they wanted to take on the debt on the October municipal election ballot.

In addition to a work session on bond debt, Wrangell’s assembly is also scheduled to hold a public hearing on the proposed sale of borough tidelands. The sale is requested by Wrangell residents currently leasing those tidelands, so they can complete rock work and build a dock and pilings. 

The City and Borough of Wrangell is still trying to figure out what to do with the former Wrangell Medical Center facility, which costs the borough about $80,000 per year to maintain. The borough received no interest in the property when it was put out for bid earlier this year, so Wrangell’s assembly will discuss the possibility of listing the 85,000-square-foot property and former hospital with a real estate agent. 

Also at the meeting, Wrangell’s assembly is set to approve an $82,000 purchase for the community rec center’s temperature and air control system, as well as a $36,000 contract amendment for updates to the middle and high school fire alarm systems. Both projects are primarily grant-funded through previously-obtained state Community Development Block Grants.

The windstorm in early December of last year exposed weaknesses in the borough’s emergency power generation capabilities, including the lack of a generator at the airport for the runway lights. The borough has purchased a generator with federal pandemic relief money, but Wrangell’s assembly may approve an additional $30,000 to set up the proper electric connectivity for the device at the airport. Borough officials say they anticipate being reimbursed for the electrical work by the state Department of Transportation. 

Also on the agenda are the first considerations of a couple of lot replats, and the approval of a special borough meeting on August 8, to consider a municipal bond package. 

At the end of the meeting, assembly members are scheduled to enter a closed-door executive session to discuss borough strategy for the Old Mill Site at 6-Mile Zimovia Highway. Although the borough took over the property just last month, the assembly may discuss selling the property, according to the meeting agenda. 

Anyone wishing to speak at the meeting can sign up on the ‘Persons to be Heard’ sheet located at City Hall. View the full agenda for the meeting here.

KSTK will air the work session of the borough assembly beginning at 6:00 p.m. (Tuesday, July 26), and will continue airing the regular meeting beginning at 7:00 p.m. on 101.7 FM or online at KSTK.org.

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