The Petersburg Borough Assembly will hold a public hearing during its regular meeting today at noon. They’re seeking feedback on an ordinance to rezone parts of two subdivisions for public use in order to make way for a new hospital. 

The public hearing scheduled for today focuses on the Assembly’s only item of unfinished business: an ordinance to rezone parts of the Airport Addition and Thirteenth Street Relocation subdivisions, which would open up space for the construction of a new medical center. That ordinance passed unanimously in its first reading. 

But in Mid-June, a preliminary plat for the subdivision failed in front of the local Planning Commission. Some members of the Commission recommended against rezoning the property — that was on account of what they called a lack of public education and input on the project, as well as the loss of single-family and multi-family residential lots in the middle of a housing crisis. 

Petersburg Medical Center is appealing that decision. In new business, the Assembly will consider holding a public hearing on the appeal at the next regular meeting on July 17th. After that, they’ll have until July 27th to make a decision on the appeal. 

The Assembly will also look at increasing the Borough’s budget by $84,114.61 to cover repairs for the Community Center Gym sewer line. Over the last two years, the gym has had a host of issues with its plumbing and sewer lines. Those issues have progressed to the point where the gym had to shut down its locker room facilities. 

The Borough got one project bid from Ketchikan Mechanical Incorporated, with the projected cost not to go over $501,114.61. The Assembly already set aside $417,000 for the project in next year’s budget. That means that the remaining $84,114.61 would come out of the Property Development Fund. 

In other business, Borough Manager Steve Giesbrecht plans on taking a vacation in August. So he’s requesting that the Assembly appoint Borough Clerk Debra Thompson as Acting Borough Manager in his stead. Additionally, the owners of the Bottle Shop — a liquor store located on 1290 Howkan Street — applied to renew its state liquor license. The Assembly will have an opportunity to support or protest their application.

Then the Assembly will go into an executive session — closed to the public. They’re wrapping up contract negotiations with the union representing Petersburg’s municipal employees. If they approve the new labor agreement, it will be effective through the next three years.

Petersburg’s Borough Assembly will meet at noon today in the assembly chambers. KFSK will broadcast that live and post the recording on our Borough Assembly Archives. Anyone from the community can join the meeting in person, by phone, or on Zoom. There’s more information on KFSK’s community calendar.