Looking at Wrangell’s Marine Service Center from City Dock.
(Sage Smiley / KSTK)

Wrangell’s water plant is gearing up for dramatically higher water usage this summer. That’s because Trident Seafoods will be operating its downtown Wrangell plant for the first time in three years. And it means the water plant will need to stock up on spare parts, something the Wrangell assembly will discuss at their meeting Tuesday night (March 14). The assembly will consider setting aside just over $115,000 for parts for ozone equipment – one of the first disinfection processes at the water plant. 

Also at the meeting, there’s a contract up for approval that would start the process to replace environmentally hazardous underground storage tanks at the Public Safety Building and high school. The design contract with RESPEC Engineering is for just over $59,000, and includes designing new tanks and how to safely dismantle the old ones.

The assembly is also set to hold a public hearing on some proposed changes to one of the borough’s advisory committees, currently called the Investment Committee. The borough may rename that committee to expand its oversight, as well as formally make the borough finance director the official in charge of that group. 

The assembly will also formally accept $120,000 from the sale of one of the former Byford junkyard lots. The money will go toward the community’s residential construction fund to develop more lots in town. 

At the meeting, assembly members will also discuss a potential change to the borough policy that allows borough employees to periodically cash out on leave. The proposal would allow employees to cash out on leave once per fiscal quarter, but only if they’d accrued 80 hours or more of leave. Borough staff proposed the policy, writing in assembly documents that it decreases financial risk for the borough. 

Additionally, Wrangell’s assembly is considering encroachment permits that would change the cost from a standing $50 to an annually-approved fee. It would be added into the borough’s comprehensive fee and rate schedule. Before making the change, the assembly will hold a public hearing on it at their next meeting. 

Also on Tuesday’s agenda, the Assembly will correct an accounting error that posted incorrect salaries for part of the wage scale for non-unionized borough employees. The salaries themselves were paid out accurately over the period of error (some time in 2020 or 2021) because the accounting software had the right amounts, but the published wage scale was wrong. 

The Wrangell Assembly meeting begins at 7 p.m. Tuesday. Prior to the regular meeting, the assembly will hold a work session beginning at 6 p.m. (March 14) on the borough’s comprehensive fee and rate schedule. That will cover everything from Port & Harbor fees to electrical and sewer rates. They’ll hold a public hearing on all the borough’s fees and rates at the next regular meeting, scheduled for March 28. 

View the full agenda packet for the upcoming meeting here.

Listen live to the meeting at 7 p.m. Tuesday on 101.7 FM or online at KSTK.org. 

Anyone wishing to speak at the meeting can sign up on the “Persons to be Heard” sheet located at City Hall.

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