Borough will auction off former hospital

The borough assembly on May 10 approved a resolution to put the former hospital building up for auction, with the borough running the sale rather than turning it over to an online surplus property vendor and paying a 5% commission.

Assemblymember Jim DeBord voted no; everyone else voted yes.

The borough has been spending almost $100,000 a year on insurance and heat since SouthEast Alaska Regional Health Consortium moved out of the 30,596-square-foot building and into a new facility on Wood Street more than a year ago. The property reverted back to the borough. The oldest portions of the building date back to 1967.

The property will be listed at a minimum bid of $830,000, the value deemed by a commercial appraisal.

The auction will start on June 1 and run through June 30.

“To me, at its current value, you’re basically giving it away,” DeBord, the only no vote, said in an interview Friday. “It’s a huge piece of property you’re essentially giving away for $830,000, in my opinion.”

He also noted that the borough could find it needs the former hospital as temporary quarters during construction or as the site for a new police and fire station building if it decides not to rebuild the Public Safety Building.

“You have no idea who would buy it and what would be done with it,” he said of the former hospital.

If the winning bid comes in at over $1 million, the sale would need to be ratified by voters at the regular election on Oct. 4.

If the winning buyer wanted to take possession before Oct. 4, it would require a special election to approve the sale on the faster timeline.

The assembly had been considering a resolution to put the former hospital site up for auction at its April 26 meeting, but the issue on what would happen if bidding went beyond $1 million led to the assembly postponing the matter until May 10, when it approved a modified resolution.


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