2nd Class City
in the Bethel Census Area
- Area Type
- Current Population
- Population Comment
- 2013 DCCED Certified Estimate
- Pronunciation/Other Names
- (chuh fore' nuck); alt. Chefarnok
- Census Designated Place (CDP)
- Borough/Census Area FIPS Code
- Place FIPS
Fisheries Participation and Earnings
Election, Recording, and Judicial Districts
- Senate District
- House District
- Judicial District
- Recording District
Facilities and Amenities
- Municipal Facilities & Utilities
- Electric, Volunteer Fire, Fire Department Building, Bingo/ Pull tabs, Refuse, Water, Post Office Building, Washeteria
Geography and Climate
- Chefornak is located on the south bank of the Kinia River, at its junction with the Keguk River, in the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta. The village lies within the Clarence Rhode National Wildlife Refuge, established for migratory waterfowl protection. Chefornak is 98 air miles southwest of Bethel and 490 miles southwest of Anchorage.
- Community Map Available
- Map URL
- Sq Mi Land
- Sq Mi Water
- Chefornak is located in a marine climate. Precipitation averages 22 inches, with 43 inches of snowfall annually. Summer temperatures range from 41 to 57 °F. Winter temperatures range 6 to 24 °F.
History and Culture
- The area has historically been occupied by Yup'ik Eskimos. In the early 1950s, Alexie Amagiqchik founded a small general store at the site. He had moved from a village on the Bering Sea to the new location one mile inland to escape potential floodwaters. Others from the original village followed and settled in Chefornak. The city was incorporated in 1974.
- A traditional Yup'ik Eskimo community, Chefornak residents practice a subsistence lifestyle with some commercial fishing.
- Indigenous Language
- Central Yup'ik
- Federally Recognized Tribe
- Name of Federally Recognized Tribe
- Village of Chefornak
- Local Option Restrictions
- Ban sale and importation of alcohol.
- 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.
- A state-owned gravel airstrip provides chartered and private air access year-round, and a seaplane base is available. There are two cars that provide transportation to the airport. Although there are no docking facilities, a number of fishing boats and skiffs are used for local travel. Snow machines are relied upon during the winter. Winter trails are marked to Kipnuk (20 mi) and Kasigluk (83 mi). Boardwalks are located within the village for pedestrians.
- State Ferry
- Cargo Barge
- Road Connection