Work Session Set On Hospital Sale Proposals

Category: News
Created on Wednesday, 28 April 2021 16:53
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Sentinel Staff Writer

    The Assembly will continue discussions Thursday on the request for proposals to sell the former Sitka Community Hospital buildings and properties.
    No Assembly action will be taken at the work session, the city said. The meeting starts at 6 p.m. at Harrigan Centennial Hall and is open to the public.
    SEARHC last October had approached the city about buying the properties at 209 Moller Drive, 202 and 204 Brady Street and 302 Gavan Street. In December the Assembly directed the city administrator to initiate sale proceedings for the properties.
    Two public hearings have been held on whether to sell the properties. SEARHC currently leases the properties, and is providing rehabilitation services, outpatient care and long-term care at the old hospital building and SEARHC Mountainside Family Clinic.
    In considering the matter, the city also solicited public comments in a survey which drew 221 responses online and in writing. Of those who responded, 52 percent were in favor, 28 percent opposed and 20 percent were unsure. Members of the public also weighed in on uses for the property and needs in the community in the survey and the public meetings.
    The Assembly reviewed a draft RFP, and gave direction to return at a future work session to modify some of the content.
    City Administrator John Leach said today that the appraiser anticipates having the appraisal report ready by the end of the week.
    The session agenda doesn’t include a “persons to be heard” item. Mayor Steven Eisenbeisz said work sessions typically don’t take public comment but there is an opportunity for the Assembly to “suspend the rules” to allow for it.
    City Administrator John Leach in an April 26 memo to Assembly members recommended they review previous town hall comments, survey results, and draft RFP.
    “Staff is requesting general guidance on changes necessary to the RFP or to the overall process (timeline, voting, etc.),” Leach wrote. “Staff will use the guidance from this work session to include in a final RFP copy to present to the Assembly for approval at the May 11, 2021, regular meeting.”
    Kevin Mosher said he received the packet - including the draft RFP - for the Tuesday work session  and has started reviewing it. He said he has no suggestions for changes to the RFP at this time, and looks forward to a thorough review.