WASILLA — The Wasilla City Council got a lot done despite their lightning-quick 24-minute meeting on Monday.
The council unanimously approved Action Memorandum 20-05 to approve purchase of a computer network for the new Wasilla Police Station for $270,015 through Alaska Communications.
The council heard a presentation from Sunshine Community Health Center Board Chair Kathy Watkins who said that the Sunshine Clinic plans to open a new location in Wasilla at the old Valley Hospital location on the corner of Crusey Street and Bogard Road on Dec. 31.
“We’re going to be opening a 6,000 square foot rural health center just like we have in Willow and Talkeetna so this is just information to let you know. There’s about 30,000 people in our Valley who are underinsured or uninsured and only four percent of those are being seen right now. They’re using the ER as their primary doctor so we’re bringing that need down here to help fill that need,” said Watkins.
Watkins previously presented at the Talkeetna Community Council and will allow for uninsured or underinsured patients to be referred to specialists at the Wasilla clinic. Currently, referred patients must travel to Anchorage. Watkins said that connections and partnerships with doctors and specialists are already happening to provide greater access to health care in the Valley.
“We don’t have to drive from Talkeetna to or willow to Anchorage, that’s the whole problem. So it’s a win win. You guys win Wasilla, Palmer wins because we have now providers here who will take people who have no insurance or poor insurance,” said Watkins.
Public Works Director Archie Giddings said that the construction of the new Wasilla Police Department is ahead of schedule and could be open as early as April and Councilman Tim Burney asked when council members could schedule a walkthrough. Mayor Bert Cottle answered Councilman Stu Graham who asked how many positions were open at WPD, stating that after new trainees are instated, three positions will remain open. Cottle also mentioned that WPD will not have a problem staffing School Resource Officers to both Houston High School and Colony High School. During the Wasilla High School Student Representative report, the score of the Shoots and Ladders charity basketball game as 80-77 with the Police Officers coming out victorious.
“I just wanted to make sure everyone knew that the police won,” joked Cottle.
The student representative also informed the council that a new science elective course of wilderness EMT will be offered at WHS in an effort to boost training for the medical field.
Cottle encouraged those in attendance to watch the ASAA/First National Bank Division 1 State Hockey Tournament at the Menard Center this weekend. Cottle estimated that the Wasilla Area Seniors Inc., will have 160 units once the 40 new independent living apartments are finished and the WASI representative said that all senior housing at WASI is under the sole ownership of WASI after incorporating the Mid Valley Senior Center and Alder View. Between July and December, WASI served 16,256 congregate meals during daily lunches and delivered 18,345 meals to seniors’ homes. WASI will host an ice cream social on Friday from 3 to 6 p.m. Giddings updated the council on the Wings Over Wasilla Airshow. The Airshow Advisory Committee continues to meet and will not hold events at the Menard Center for the second iteration of the revived WOW airshow. Cottle said that the airshow committee plans to have 150 Harley-Davidson motorcycle riders present the flags this summer.
“That’ll be kind of neat,” said Cottle. “They’re all going to rally in the parking lot and then they’ll rumble on over and go up and down the airport runway.”