Sitka, Alaska (KINY) - The Sitka Assembly punted to at least January a decision regarding SouthEast Alaska Regional Health Consortium's interest in purchasing the old Sitka Community Hospital facility.
While the Assembly did pass a motion to sell the building, it deferred on deciding whether the sales process will follow competitive bidding, as required under city code, and instead will give SEARHC officials time to present a case for non-competitive bidding, which is also allowed.
Under competitive bidding, SEARHC could be outspent and lose their chance at owning the property.
Mayor Steven Eisenbeisz and members of the Assembly said they want to see SEARHC make their proposal
SEARHC currently utilizes the facility for long-term care, rehabilitative services, and primary and urgent care clinic space.
As these services grow, the facility needs significant upgrades, requiring investment and future planning, and remediation of contamination and safety hazards.
SEARHC has said this level of investment will only be feasible with ownership of the facility.
The upcoming Mt. Edgecumbe Medical Center Construction and Expansion Project will further the need to renovate the SCH facility as service lines and staff positions will be required to relocate during the construction process.
The SCH facility's ownership would allow positions to remain in Sitka instead of moving to other locations throughout the region.