Former Mayor Steve Prysunka hugs newly-elected Mayor Patty Gilbert, October 6, 2022.
(Sage Smiley / KSTK)

Wrangell’s assembly is set to move forward with a much-needed upgrade to antiquated fire alarm systems in the community’s middle and high schools. The system is not up to current code, and replacing the alarm system has been a priority for the public school district since at least 2010

After making the fire alarm replacement one of its top priorities in 2021, the borough secured a so-called “Community Development Block Grant” for around $494,000, and has pledged an additional $118,000 of local money to the project as well. After completing the engineering last year, the borough is ready to get to work on the system upgrades. 

At its regular Tuesday evening meeting (October 11), Wrangell’s Assembly will discuss approving a contract for the project with the lowest of four bidders, the Sitka Electric Company, with a bid of $574,000, as well as spending another $62,000 towards the fire alarm project to cover a 10% construction contingency. 

It’ll be the first assembly meeting after Wrangell’s municipal election, where borough voters elected former Vice-Mayor Patty Gilbert as the new mayor, Brittani Robbins as a new assembly member, and re-elected Dave Powell to the assembly. The assembly will appoint a new Vice-Mayor, as well as ratify Gilbert’s picks for Wrangell’s Planning & Zoning Commission, Economic Development Committee, Convention & Visitors Bureau, Investment Committee, and Parks & Rec Advisory Board. Community members can submit letters of interest for the boards and committees. Any positions without candidates will be advertised in the paper and over the radio.

Also on the agenda: the assembly will look at changes to its lease agreement with Trident Seafoods for its cold storage facility. That would include a rental increase, as well as new terms for facility maintenance responsibility. The new agreement would also permit Trident to charge cold storage users a fee, although it’s not clear how that might impact current cold storage users. 

And the borough assembly will also consider cleaning up the government’s fund structure in line with the budget passed earlier this year. Some special funds or fund-tracking mechanisms have become outdated, so Wrangell’s Finance Department is suggesting dissolving some special funds – ones made for specific projects, for example – that are no longer used to make the budget easier to manage.

View the full agenda and supporting documents for the meeting at under the “Meetings” tab. Anyone wishing to speak at the meeting can sign up on the “Persons to be Heard” sheet located at City Hall. 

Community members can attend in-person, or listen to the meeting on the radio. KSTK will broadcast the meeting beginning at 6 p.m. Tuesday (October 11) on 101.7 FM and online at

This article has been updated to clarify contract amounts on the fire alarm project.

Get in touch with KSTK at or (906) 874-2345.