Jack appointed Wrangell Mayor
After narrowly losing the election for Mayor of the City and Borough of Wrangell last year – by a mere two votes – Borough Assembly member Dave Jack was appointed to the position during the group’s regular meeting on Feb. 12.
Jack was appointed to the position after being unanimously approved. Member Maxi Wiederspohn was not present at the meeting. Mayor Jack was also absent from the meeting as he is attending the Southeast Conference in Juneau. He will be sworn in at the next regular meeting.
After Jack’s appointment, Borough Clerk Kim Flores was directed by the Assembly to advertise for his vacant Assembly seat.
Kip Valvoda had also submitted a letter of interest in serving as Mayor.
Wrangellite Bob Maxand was appointed to an open seat on the Economic Development Committee as well.
While the Assembly had no new business to discuss, they received Borough Manager Tim Rooney’s report – and learned that Wrangell is growing in population.
“The City and Borough of Wrangell recently received the 2012 population estimates from the Department of Labor and Workforce Development,” Rooney stated in his report. “As of January 15, 2013, the estimated population of Wrangell is 2,448. This continues a trend of population increases for Wrangell that began in 2010 with a population of 2,369 followed by 2,411 in 2011.”
The population increase, Rooney added, is outpacing the rest of the state and many other Southeast communities.
“While the percentage increase of 1.52 percent is small, it is greater than the percentage increase of the State of Alaska (1.26 percent) and the Southeast Alaska region (0.96 percent) and is the second highest percentage increase in the Southeast Region outpacing Ketchikan, Sitka, and Juneau. While many areas in Southeast Alaska witnessed increases in population in the last year, several (Petersburg, Prince of Wales, Skagway, and Yakutat) witnessed declines in population by as much as almost 4 percent.”
Rooney also updated the Assembly on the latest information regarding the Wrangell Medical Center replacement project.
“Several meetings have been conducted within the last month regarding the Hospital Replacement Project,” Rooney stated. “In addition to meeting with Innovative Capital – the firm under contract with Wrangell Medical Center to perform financial services relating to the securing of the loan, staff of both the City and Borough of Wrangell and WMC, as well as Mr. Blasco, participated in a meeting with the State of Alaska regarding the Certificate of Need.”
According to Rooney, the number one priority relating to the project is the, “loan reapplication process that must be completed through the USDA.”
The next meeting of the Assembly is set for Feb. 26 at 7 p.m. at City Hall.