When the Sitka Assembly meets tonight, it will consider an $8.2 million dollar offer from the Southeast Alaska Regional Health Consortium (SEARHC) to purchase the former Sitka Community Hospital building and properties. If approved on first reading, the sale will go on the municipal ballot this fall for an “advisory vote” of the public before the assembly considers the sale for a final vote. 

The Assembly issued a “request for proposals” earlier this year, after SEARHC signaled interest in purchasing the property. The consortium bought the Sitka Community Hospital business in 2019, and the city retained ownership of the building. SEARHC now leases the building to house long-term care. 

If the purchase offer is approved, SEARHC plans to retain and remodel the existing hospital building for long-term care, physical therapy and administrative offices. Long term care would be expanded from 15 to 19 beds. It also plans to build a multi-family residential building with 28 apartments. The Mountainside Family Clinic and Urgent Care buildings would be removed, and those services would be moved off-site. 

In other business, the Assembly will consider extending its temporary mask mandate for another month. The assembly issued a mask mandate with penalties in late July after Sitka began experiencing its worst coronavirus outbreak since the pandemic began. If the group does not vote to extend the mandate, it expires at midnight tonight. 

The Sitka Assembly meets tonight at 6 p.m. Raven News will broadcast the meeting live, following Alaska News Nightly.