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

Wrangell’s assembly could approve partial funding for a local children’s social worker, allocate money for repairs to its recreation facility and consider seeking a report on its Public Safety Building at its meeting Tuesday (July 25). 

Last month, the borough cut the $53,000 funding for the OCS position from its annual budget – half of the position’s salary and benefits. The other half was paid by the state. Local leadership said they didn’t feel the community was getting half of the position’s time, even though the borough was paying half of the salary. 

The state Office of Children’s Services proposed a deal with the borough, where Wrangell would pay a quarter of the position’s salary and continue to provide office space, while the state would foot the rest of the bill. 

Also on the agenda at the assembly’s regular meeting is a plan to set aside an additional $110,000 for a maintenance project at the public recreation facility. The work would replace damaged siding. A large portion of the funding comes from grant funds, but initial work revealed much more intensive wood rot than previously expected, as well as a need for more expensive siding. 

The $110,000 will cover the contract amendments needed for more extensive replacement work as well as a 20% construction contingency, set aside in case of unexpected costs.

The assembly is also taking back up the issue of repairs to the community’s Public Safety Building. Last year, Wrangell voters rejected a bond proposal that would have helped make essential repairs to the structure. Local leaders have repeatedly stated that further delays to repairs could put Wrangell at risk of losing its courthouse, jail, and other public services

After years of postponing repairs and looking for other solutions, Wrangell’s assembly will consider a $53,600 contract with Juneau-based Northwind Architects to conduct another preliminary architectural report on the building. Borough officials hope the report will help bolster Wrangell’s chances of securing federal community facilities funds through the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Rural Development division. 

Other agenda items include a write-off of some property taxes billed in error, and a public hearing on a change to the order of events for the borough’s public meetings – the roll would be called before any agenda items, rather than the current rules where some presentations to the assembly happen before the official calling of the roll. 

Wrangell’s Assembly will also meet behind closed doors to discuss the potential purchase of a portion of the Presbyterian Church lot (02-021-500 Plat 2019-7 Lot A), located between Church Street and Reid Street. The borough has not publicly stated a reason for considering the purchase, or how much of the property could come under borough control. 

Before the regular meeting, the assembly will hold a work session on code enforcement and other local enforcement issues beginning at 6 p.m. in the City Hall Assembly Chambers.

KSTK will broadcast the regular meeting beginning at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, July 25 on 101.7 FM and KSTK.org. 

View the full agenda packet 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 before the meeting.

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