Kodiak Island Borough putting more money towards hospital repairs amidst one assembly member’s concerns

The Kodiak Island Borough Assembly is moving forward with repairs at the island’s hospital. Assembly members approved more funds for updates to the Kodiak Island Medical Center at a meeting last week on Feb. 15.

Regional healthcare provider Providence, operates out of the medical center but the borough owns the building.

Designs to update the sterile processing department, which involves environmental cleaning duties within the hospital, are passed the halfway mark. Work was already done in the fall of last year [2023] to complete the first third of the design phase, although the Borough Assembly didn’t officially approve the work until last Thursday.

Engineering and facilities staff said this delay in the process was an error on their part. David Conrad, who was the acting administrative official during Thursday’s borough meeting, spoke up as the Engineering and Facilities Director for the Kodiak Island Borough.

“And we’ll take the credit and blame for that. The 35% should have come before you [the Borough Assembly] first. The 35% is complete. They are adding [to] the design $53,000, to go from the 35% to the 65% stage,” Conrad explained.

The borough’s fund for repairs and replacements at the hospital has just under $1.5 million remaining in the budget.

Additional money from that fund will go towards updating the Kodiak Island Medical Center’s sanitation system. Certain components, like the reverse osmosis water system and steam generator, are moving into 35% of the design phase at a cost of $29,788.

Assembly member Ryan Sharratt took issue with the lack of revenue coming back into the borough’s coffers from the medical center.

“I want the public to understand that this hospital has yielded no financial return to the taxpayers who funded this $25 million project years ago,” Sharratt said. “The current lease agreement needs to be renegotiated or the building needs to be sold.”

The current lease was signed in 2017 which in part requires the borough to cover certain upgrades and deferred maintenance projects at the medical center. Providence and the borough first entered into the lease agreement in the late 1990s.

The Kodiak Island Borough Assembly is scheduled to host a joint work session with the Kodiak City Council next week, on Feb. 28 to discuss a variety of local projects.

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