1st Class City
in the Matanuska-Susitna Borough
- Area Type
- Current Population
- Population Comment
- 2013 DCCED Certified Estimate
- Pronunciation/Other Names
- (wah sill' uh)
- 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 Sewer, Police, Regional Dispatch Center, Animal Control, Airport, Library, Museum, Roads, Mat-Su Youth Court, Recreation, Softball Fields,Baseball Fields, Skate Park, Tennis Courts, Horseshoe Pits, Volleyball Courts, Wonderland Playground, Skating Rink, Curtis D. Manard Memorial Sports Center, Cemetery
Geography and Climate
- Wasilla is located midway between the Matanuska and Susitna Valleys, on the George Parks Highway. It lies between Wasilla and Lucille Lakes, 43 miles north of Anchorage.
- Community Map Available
- Sq Mi Land
- Sq Mi Water
- January temperatures range from -33 to 33 °F; July temperatures range from 42 to 83 °F. The average annual precipitation is 17 inches, with 50 inches of snowfall.
History and Culture
- Wasilla was named after the respected local Dena'ina Indian, Chief Wasilla (also known as Chief Vasili). In the Dena'ina Athabascan Indian dialect, "Wasilla" is said to mean "breath of air." Other sources claim the chief derived his name from the Russian language, and that "Wasilla" is a variation of the Russian name "Vasili". The townsite was established in 1917 at the intersection of the Carle Wagon Road (now Wasilla-Fishhook Road) and the newly-constructed Alaska Railroad. It was a supply base for gold and coal mining in the region through World War II. The Matanuska-Susitna Valley was settled by many colony homesteaders in the 1930s. Construction of the George Parks Highway through Wasilla in the early 1970s provided direct access to Anchorage. This enabled families to live in Wasilla and commute to Anchorage for employment. The city was incorporated in 1974.
- Residents are close to the urban amenities of Anchorage.
- Federally Recognized Tribe
- Name of Federally Recognized Tribe
- Native Village of Kanatak
- Incorporation Type
- 1st Class City
- Public Education
- Not permitted to provide this service.
- Planning, Platting and Land Use Regulation
- May be permitted to exercise the powers in accordance with AS 29.40.
- Property Tax Powers
- May tax up to 30 mills, except where a higher levy is necessary to avoid default on debt. Voter approval is not required under State law; however, stricter limitations can be imposed at the local level.
- Sales Tax Powers
- No limit on the rate of levy of sales taxes, but voter approval is required.
- Other Powers Not Prohibited
- May exercise other powers not prohibited by law.
- City Council or Assembly Composition and Apportionment
- 6 members elected at-large, except the council may provide for election other than at-large.
- Election and Term of Mayor
- Elected at large for a 3-year term, unless a different term not to exceed 4 years is provided by ordinance.
- Vote by Mayor
- May vote to break a tie vote on the city council.
- Veto Power of the Mayor
- Has veto power, except veto is not permitted of ordinance prohibiting posession of alcohol.
- Power of Eminent Domain
- Permitted by statute.
- Ability to Attain Home-Rule Status
- Voters may adopt home-rule charter.
- Wasilla is well connected by land to surrounding communities. The George Parks Highway and Glenn Highway connect Wasilla to Anchorage, Fairbanks, Denali National Park, and Palmer, as well as a number of smaller communities. The Alaska Railroad serves Wasilla on the Anchorage to Fairbanks route, while Mat-Su Valley Public Transportation provides bus service between Wasilla, Palmer, and Anchorage. Commercial air service is available at Anchorage International Airport, located 45 miles away. Wasilla's municipal airport has a paved runway with parking for transient aircraft. Numerous additional private airstrips also operate in the vicinity. Float planes land at Wasilla Lake, Jacobsen Lake, and Lake Lucille.
- State Ferry
- Cargo Barge
- Road Connection