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By Dan Rudy 

Assembly unanimously approves SEAPA agreement


After much discussion, the Wrangell Borough Assembly voted 4-0 Tuesday evening to approve a formal transition agreement that will allow Southeast Alaska Power Agency (SEAPA) to take over the operation and maintenance of the Tyee Hydro Facility from the Thomas Bay Power Authority.

"It's been a long time coming," said assembly member Julie Decker as she moved to approve the measure. The current agreement is the product of months of negotiations between representatives of Wrangell, Petersburg and SEAPA.

"Concessions were made by everybody a little bit," Borough Manager Jeff Jabusch said. "It appears we've done all the right steps."

As part of the agreement, SEAPA will pay public pension liabilities required by the state that could total $750,000 and will continue to fund TBPA positions through next May. The Petersburg Borough Assembly gave the agreement its approval on Monday.

Other new business before the Wrangell assembly included surplussing a pair of seized motorcycles and a fishing boat, as well as a Camaro formerly used by the Sitka D.A.R.E. program. Proceeds from the sales would go toward purchasing a new emergency dispatch system, which could cost upward of $300,000.

"This would help us get a long ways," said Jabusch, with the money possibly helping to obtain matching grant funding to make up the difference. For best value, the assembly decided to let the 40-foot boat be sold through a brokerage.

The assembly also approved the five-year City Tideland Reassessments as they were presented, awarded a contract of up to $195,412 to PND Engineers Inc. for contract administration and inspection services paid for with Alaska Department of Commerce, Community, and Economic Development (DCCED) grant funding, and approved a bid received from John Taylor & Sons Inc. for the construction of the Marine Service Center water filtration shed in the amount of $63,650.

Assembly members also awarded the contract for designing a waterfront master plan to Corvus Design Inc. for $72,825. Several years ago, the borough received a $75,000 grant from the state in order to prepare a downtown waterfront master plan between the Marine Service Center and City Dock. Of five responders, six independent reviewers scored Corvus Design the highest based on the project criteria.

Certificates of service were presented to assembly member James Stough for his four years on the assembly and to assembly member Mark Mitchell for his time as a Planning and Zoning commissioner.

Seven borough employees were also recognized for reaching their five-year incremental milestones: Tim Buness of the fire department, 25 years; Margaret Villarma of the library, 25 years; Terri Henson at the civic center, 15 years; Carl Johnson with public works, 15 years; Steve Miller, harbor, 15 years; Tom Gillen, public works, 5 years; and Laura Massin, public safety/city hall, 5 years.

A couple of vacancies were filled, with Christina Florschultz and Apryl Hutchinson appointed to serve on the Planning and Zoning Commission. For lack of applicants, Mayor David Jack volunteered to act as the assembly's hospital board liaison until after the October elections. Becky Rooney was also appointed to the borough assembly.

"I think she will do a fine job," Jack said.

Borough Clerk Kim Lane also read a letter announcing the retirement of Wrangell's Library Director, Kay Jabusch, who after 35 years of service will retire next year.

And a special thanks went to Tyler Eagle who, with Mathew Covalt, refurbished the park tables on the City Hall lawn as part of his Eagle Scout service project.

"That will be well used out there," said Jabusch.


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