Wrangell Assembly to discuss rate hikes and cemetery expansion at meeting tonight (April 12)

Wrangell Town Hall.
(Wise Smiley / KSTK)

The Wrangell Assembly is expected to reconsider rate increases to community water and sewer rates on Tuesday (April 12), to the tune of about $10 per month per household. If approved, Wrangell’s water and sewer rates would increase on May 1. The rate increases come as Wrangell officials attempt to prepare for future infrastructure needs by bolstering local funds.

Wrangell’s elected leaders aren’t just focused on the cost of living; they are also looking to expand the community cemetery.

Burial space has been a long-standing issue at Wrangell and will be discussed at Tuesday’s regular meeting. In this first phase of expanding the cemetery, the borough is aiming to acquire a new columbarium, a structure with spaces to store ashes and house commemorative plaques. The purchase and installation of a new columbarium is expected to cost approximately $58,000. The borough will also begin work to add 10 more burial plots to the existing Wrangell Cemetery.

The assembly will also collect public testimonials and suggestions for projects to submit for federal pandemic relief funding. During the first round of subsidies, the borough requested the upgrade of the air circulation system of the community recreation centerbut has not yet heard of this first round of funding.

Also on the agenda, the meeting will examine the overhaul of certain parts of the borough’s sales tax code and the distribution of sales tax revenues. One of the proposed changes would eliminate the city’s taxable business income cap, which is currently set at $3,000. The other proposal would allocate 80% of the borough’s sales tax revenue to the general fund and 20% to a fund for Wrangell schools. If these changes are adopted at tonight’s meeting, the borough will hold a public hearing on the updated code on April 26.

The borough assembly will also consider some purchases and project approvals at its meeting on Tuesday. A possible expense is $25,000 for an engineering appraisal for the Borough to appraise the former factory property at 6-Mile Zimovia Highway, on which the Borough has filed an offer to purchase 2, $5 million. Other purchases could include a $10,000 purchase of sewage pumps and spare parts and approval to spend nearly $24,000 to buy carpet for an upcoming carpet replacement project at the public library. . The borough will also consider approving a federally funded $65,000 sidewalk replacement project next to the high school (Secure Rural Schools).

Ketchikan Independent Representative Dan Ortiz will also provide a legislative update to the assembly during the Tuesday evening meeting.

Wrangell’s assembly will meet at 6 p.m. in the Borough Chambers at City Hall. The meeting will also be broadcast on KSTK: 101.7 FM and online on kstk.org. See the meeting agenda at www.wrangell.com under the “Meetings” tab. Anyone wishing to speak at the meeting should contact the borough clerk at 907-874-2381.

Contact KSTK at [email protected] or (907) 874-2345.


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