2nd Class City
in the Kodiak Island Borough
- Area Type
- Current Population
- Population Comment
- 2013 DCCED Certified Estimate
- Census Designated Place (CDP)
- Borough/Census Area FIPS Code
- Place FIPS
Election, Recording, and Judicial Districts
- Senate District
- House District
- Judicial District
- Recording District
Facilities and Amenities
- Municipal Facilities & Utilities
- Piped Water, Piped Sewar, Electric (AVEC), Refuse Collection, Landfill, Health Clinic, Police, Volunteer Fire, Fire Hall, Harbor/Dock, Airport, Library, Fuel Sales, Teen/Senior Center, Roads, Gym, Building Rental, Equipment Rental
Geography and Climate
- Old Harbor is located on the southeast coast of Kodiak Island, 70 miles southwest of the City of Kodiak and 322 miles southwest of Anchorage.
- Community Map Available
- Map URL
- Sq Mi Land
- Sq Mi Water
- The climate of the Kodiak Islands is dominated by a strong marine influence. There is little or no freezing weather, moderate precipitation, and frequent cloud cover and fog. Severe storms are common from December through February. Annual precipitation averages 60 inches. Temperatures remain within a narrow range, from 24 to 60 °F.
History and Culture
- The area around Old Harbor is thought to have been inhabited for nearly 2,000 years. The area was visited by the Russian Grigori Shelikov and his "Three Saints" flagship in 1784. Three Saints Bay became the first Russian colony in Alaska. In 1788, a tsunami destroyed the settlement. Two more earthquakes struck before 1792. In 1793, the town relocated from the northeast coast to "Saint Paul's," now known as Kodiak. A settlement was reestablished at Three Saints Harbor in 1884. The town was recorded as "Staruigavan," meaning "old harbor" in Russian. The present-day Natives are Alutiiq (Russian-Aleuts). The Old Harbor post office was opened in 1931. In 1964, the Good Friday Earthquake and resulting tsunami destroyed the community; only two homes and the church remained standing. The community was rebuilt in the same location. The city government was incorporated in 1966.
- Old Harbor practices its traditional Alutiiq culture and subsistence lifestyle. Fishing provides income to the community. Residents of Kaguyak, a summer fish camp, also live in Old Harbor.
- Indigenous Language
- Federally Recognized Tribe
- Name of Federally Recognized Tribe
- Village of Old Harbor
- Incorporation Type
- 2nd Class City
- Public Education
- Not permitted to provide this service.
- Planning, Platting and Land Use Regulation
- Not required to exercise the powers in any circumstance, but may be permitted in all cases in the manner described for first class cities.
- Property Tax Powers
- May tax up to 20 mills, except where a higher levy is required to avoid default. Voter approval required.
- Sales Tax Powers
- No limit on the rate of levy of sales taxes; however, voter approval is required.
- Other Powers Not Prohibited
- May exercise other powers not prohibited by law.
- City Council or Assembly Composition and Apportionment
- 7 members elected at-large, except the council may provide for election other than at-large.
- Election and Term of Mayor
- Elected from the city council for a 1-year term, unless a longer term is provided by ordinance. Mayor selected by council (or by voters upon adoption of ordinance).
- Vote by Mayor
- Votes on all matters.
- Veto Power of the Mayor
- Does not have veto power.
- Power of Eminent Domain
- Permitted, but requires voter approval.
- Ability to Attain Home-Rule Status
- May not adopt home-rule charter without first reclassifying to a first-class city.
- Old Harbor is accessible only by air and water. A state-owned gravel runway and a seaplane base serve air traffic. Regular and charter flights are available from Kodiak. There is a harbor with docking facilities for 55 boats. Seattle-based and local barge services are available. The Alaska state ferry has weekly service during the summer months. In 2014 there was a project underway to expand the runway from 2,000 to 4,700 feet.
- State Ferry
- Cargo Barge
- Road Connection