1st Class City
in the Aleutians West Census Area
- Area Type
- Current Population
- Population Comment
- 2013 DCCED Certified Estimate
- Pronunciation/Other Names
- (un uh lass' kuh); includes Dutch Harbor
- Census Designated Place (CDP)
- Borough/Census Area FIPS Code
- Place FIPS
Election, Recording, and Judicial Districts
- Senate District
- House District
- Judicial District
- Recording District
- Aleutian Islands
Facilities and Amenities
- Municipal Facilities & Utilities
- Piped Water, Piped Sewer, Electric, Landfill, Airport Terminal, Harbor/Port, Police, Volunteer Fire/EMS/Rescue, Library, Roads, Schools, Parks and Recreation
Geography and Climate
- Unalaska overlooks Iliuliuk Bay and Dutch Harbor on Unalaska Island in the Aleutian Chain. It lies 800 air miles from Anchorage (a two- to three-hour flight) and 1,700 miles northwest of Seattle. The name Dutch Harbor is often applied to the portion of the city on Amaknak Island, which is connected to Unalaska Island by bridge. Dutch Harbor is actually within the boundaries of the City of Unalaska.
- January temperatures range from 25 to 35 °F; summers range from 43 to 53 °F. Average annual precipitation is 58 inches. The mean wind speed is 17 mph.
- Community Map Available
- Sq Mi Land
- Sq Mi Water
History and Culture
- The native Unangan people have inhabited the island of Unalaska for thousands of years. More than 3,000 Unangan (known since the Russian era as "Aleuts") lived in 24 settlements on Unalaska and Amaknak Islands in 1759. Unalaska became a Russian trading port for the fur seal industry in 1768. In 1787 many hunters and their families were enslaved and relocated by the Russian American Company to the Pribilof Islands to work in the fur seal harvest. In 1825 the Russian Orthodox Church of the Holy Ascension of Christ was constructed. The founding priest, Ivan Veniaminov, composed the first Aleut writing system with local assistance and translated scripture into Aleut. Since Aleuts were not forced to give up their language or culture by the Russian Orthodox priests, the church became strong in the community. By 1830 and 1840, however, only 200 to 400 Aleuts lived in Unalaska. In 1880 the Methodist church opened a school, clinic, and the Jesse Lee Home for Orphans. The City of Unalaska was incorporated in March 1942. On June 3, 1942, Unalaska was attacked by the Japanese. Almost all of the Aleuts on the Island were interned to Southeast Alaska for the duration of World War II. The Russian Orthodox Church was nearly destroyed by evacuating U.S. Army troops. The church is the oldest Russian Orthodox cruciform-style church in North America.
- Unalaska is a rapidly-growing and culturally-diverse community, primarily focused on fishing and fish-processing activities. Subsistence activities are important to the Unangan community and to many long-term non-Native residents, as well.
- Federally Recognized Tribe
- Name of Federally Recognized Tribe
- Qawalangin Tribe of Unalaska
- Incorporation Type
- 1st Class City
- Public Education
- Must provide the service in accordance with AS 14.
- Planning, Platting and Land Use Regulation
- Must 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.
- Daily scheduled flights serve the community at the state-owned 3,900' long by 100' wide paved runway. A seaplane base is also available. The state ferry operates bi-monthly from Kodiak between April and October. There are ten major docks in Unalaska; three are operated by the city. The International Port of Dutch Harbor serves fishing vessels and shipping, with 5,200' of moorage and 1,232' of floating dock. The small boat harbor provides 238 moorage slips. The Unalaska Marine Center and US Coast Guard Dock offer cargo, passenger, and other port services.
- State Ferry
- Cargo Barge
- Road Connection