Wrangell’s City Hall.
(Sage Smiley / KSTK)

Wrangell’s Assembly is set to levy property taxes for the coming year at its Tuesday meeting (June 13). And for the first time in over a decade, the assembly is looking at dropping the borough’s property tax rate by about 24%, from $12.75 per $1,000 of assessed value to $9.75 per $1,000 of assessed value. 

Property taxes are projected to bring in just over $2 million to the borough this year – about a third of the borough’s revenues. 

At the Tuesday evening meeting, the assembly will hold a public hearing on a proposed property tax break of up to $10,000 for active firefighters and EMS volunteers in the borough. That exemption would go into effect in 2024. 

In addition to levying this year’s property taxes, the borough assembly will hold a public hearing on its proposed FY24 budget. The draft budget can be viewed on the borough website. The final budget for the coming fiscal year will be passed in two weeks at the assembly’s next meeting (June 27).

Two other public hearings will inform the public about the borough’s progress on two federally-funded pandemic relief projects: upgrades to the recreation center’s heating and cooling systems, and a fire alarm replacement project for the middle and high schools. 

At its meeting, the borough assembly could also approve a $157,000 update to its contract with engineering firm DOWL, which is working to design a new water treatment plant for the community. The additional costs are related to coordination DOWL has had to do with a firm designing shop drawings for some of the plant equipment, and permitting and regulatory work. The funding will come from a $4.1 million grant for the water treatment plant from the state. 

Wrangell is looking to sell its old community hospital – but it’s been over a year and the borough hasn’t had an offer on the building or land. The assembly may approve a contract with regional real estate broker Anchor Properties to help sell the old hospital. Anchor Properties would receive a 7% commission once the property is sold. The property and land are valued at around $830,000. 

Other items on the agenda include approving a $495,000 contract for a video surveillance system at Wrangell’s port and harbors. The project is funded by a grant from the state Homeland Security Program. 

Another contract set to be approved will move toward a repair of the foundation of the Nolan Center’s storage building, which is settling. Stabilizing the storage building is estimated to cost around $91,000.

And the borough assembly could approve an alternate appointment to the Southeast Alaska Solid Waste Authority (SEASWA). The Wrangell Cooperative Association’s new environmental office coordinator, Alex Angerman, has expressed interest in that appointment. 

KSTK will broadcast the Wrangell Borough Assembly’s meeting beginning at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, June 13 on 101.7 FM and online at KSTK.org.

Find the full agenda for the meeting here

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

6/13: This article has been updated with the corrected date for the meeting.

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