2nd Class City
in the Aleutians East Borough
- Area Type
- Current Population
- Population Comment
- 2013 DCCED Certified Estimate
- Pronunciation/Other Names
- (ack oo tan)
- 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, Refuse Collection, Recycling, Volunteer Fire, Health Clinic, Harbor/ Dock, Seaplane Ramp, Fuel Sales, Cable TV, Library, Museum, Community Building, Boardwalks, Skiff Moorage, State Funded Public Safety Officer (VPSO)
Geography and Climate
- Akutan is located on Akutan Island in the eastern Aleutians, one of the Krenitzin Islands of the Fox Island group. It is 35 miles east of Unalaska and 766 air miles southwest of Anchorage.
- Community Map Available
- Map URL
- Sq Mi Land
- Sq Mi Water
- Akutan lies in the maritime climate zone, with mild winters and cool summers. Mean temperatures range from 22 to 55 °F. Precipitation averages 28 inches per year. High winds and storms are frequent in the winter, and fog is common in the summer.
History and Culture
- Akutan began in 1878 as a fur storage and trading port for the Western Fur & Trading Company. The company's agent established a commercial cod fishing and processing business that quickly attracted nearby Unangans to the community. A Russian Orthodox church and a school were built in 1878. Alexander Nevsky Chapel was built in 1918 to replace the original structure. The Pacific Whaling Company built a whale processing station across the bay from Akutan in 1912. It was the only whaling station in the Aleutians and operated until 1939. After the Japanese attacked Unalaska in June 1942, the U.S. government evacuated Akutan residents to the Ketchikan area. The village was re-established in 1944, although many villagers chose not to return. This exposure to the outside world brought many changes to the traditional lifestyle and attitudes of the community. The city was incorporated in 1979.
- Akutan is a fishing community and is the site of a traditional Unangan village. Approximately 75 persons are year-round residents; the majority of the population are transient fish processing workers who live in bunkhouses (group quarters).
- Indigenous Language
- Federally Recognized Tribe
- Name of Federally Recognized Tribe
- Native Village of Akutan
- 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.
- Akutan is only accessible by boat and amphibious aircraft. The land-based Akutan Airport was opened in September 2012 on Akun Island, and services Akutan by a helicopter. Daily scheduled air service is provided by Grant Aviation from nearby Dutch Harbor/Unalaska, and is subsidized by the Essential Air Service. The state ferry M/V Tustumena serves Akutan on its westbound route to Dutch Harbor and its eastbound route to Homer during the months of April and October. Akutan is the second largest seafood port in north America. Akutan has a 100-foot public dock and a 58-vessel mooring basin and breakwater was completed by the Army Corps of Engineers in September 2013. Trident Seafoods owns several commercial docks. In 2013, the city applied for ARRA funding for a two-mile harbor access road, with the purpose of connecting the village/city of Akutan with the Trident Seafoods shore plant and the harbor.
- State Ferry
- Cargo Barge
- Road Connection