Wrangell Sentinel -

By Dan Rudy 

Assembly okays Shoemaker Bay Harbor project financing


At its regular Assembly meeting Tuesday, Wrangell's City and Borough Assembly approved a spending plan for improvements at Shoemaker Bay Harbor.

Designed by PND Engineers, funding for the $10.7 million project would require $5 million to come from an Alaska Department of Transportation matching grant. The deadline to file an application is on August 1, prompting a special meeting of the Port Commission on May 26 to get things moving.

Under the plan the commission put forward, part of the funds for a match would come from the Harbor Department, with $3.2 million coming from available harbor replacement and commercial fishing reserve funds. This latter fund comes from a portion of state fisheries tax monies, and is slated for capital improvement projects benefitting the local commercial fishing infrastructure.

The other $2.5 million would be raised through the issue of revenue bonds. The city would need to submit an application with the Alaska Municipal Bond Bank for the potential sale of the Harbor Revenue Bonds.

For the project Wrangell would have to issue 20-year bonds with an interest rate conservatively estimated at about four percent. Annual payments would run at around $183,000, which would be repaid in part through stall rent revenues currently deferred to the harbor reserve fund.

If a DoT grant is approved for the renovation project, its completion could be expected by 2017.

The Assembly also approved passage of an ordinance which will put to voters in October the question of whether to exempt Wrangell's public officials from state financial disclosure standards. The reasoning given for the exemption is to promote wider involvement in local government, as the financially revealing forms has proven a deterrent.

The Assembly approved two resolutions, one allowing the conveyance of public land by quitclaim deed to Tyler Thompson and Katherine Ivy. The other authorizes the sale of eight city-owned lots “over the counter,” along Etolin Avenue. These went without any bids in a previous sale, and will be sold on a first-come, first-serve basis at their minimum value starting June 22 at 9 a.m. Successful purchasers will be required to obtain any state or federal permits necessary for development of the land.

The Assembly approved Wrangell Medical Center's budget for the coming fiscal year, which its board of trustees passed previously at its May 20 meeting. Assembly members also approved an amended measure hiring TruBridge LLC to manage the hospital's billing services. (see story on Page 1)

The Assembly also approved a contract with Advanced Truck Body & Equipment Co. for the supply of a Ford F550 Truck and Service Body in the amount of $53,549. Funding comes from the approved FY16 water and sewer budgets, to also include amendments in the amount of $1,774.50 from the sewer fund and $1,774.50 from water fund to complete the funding needed for the purchase.

A service award was presented to Michael Brown, for his service on the Parks and Recreation Board. One letter of interest was submitted to fill the vacancy, with Dan Rudy appointed through the term's expiry in October.

The Assembly's next meeting is scheduled for

June 23.


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