2nd Class City
in the Hoonah-Angoon Census Area
- Area Type
- Current Population
- Population Comment
- 2013 DCCED Certified Estimate
- Pronunciation/Other Names
- (ten' uh kee); abbr. Tenakee
- 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
- Electric, Volunteer Fire, Harbor/Dock, Seaplane Float, Heliport, Library, Community Hall, Bath House, Roads, Fuel Facilities Dock Side
Geography and Climate
- Tenakee Springs is located on the east side of Chichagof Island, on the north shore of Tenakee Inlet. It lies 45 miles southwest of Juneau and 50 miles northeast of Sitka.
- Tenakee Springs has a maritime climate with cool summers and mild winters. Summer temperatures range from 45 to 65 °F and winters from 24 to 39 °F. The highest recorded temperature is 84 °F, and the lowest recorded temperature is 3 °F. Total precipitation averages 69 inches a year, with 62 inches of snow.
- Community Map Available
- Map URL
- Sq Mi Land
- Sq Mi Water
History and Culture
- The word Tenakee is from the Tlingit word "tinaghu," meaning "Coppery Shield Bay." This refers to three copper shields, highly prized by the Tlingits, that were lost in a storm. Early prospectors and fishermen came to the site to wait out the winters and enjoy the natural hot springs in Tenakee. Around 1895, a large tub and building were constructed to provide a warm bathing place for the increasing number of visitors. In 1899 Ed Snyder established Snyder's Mercantile, which still operates today. A post office opened in 1903. Originally called Tenakee, the name was altered to Tenakee Springs in 1928. Improvements to the hot springs facilities were made in 1915 and 1929; the existing bathhouse was constructed in 1940. Three canneries operated in the area between 1916 and 1974. A logging camp operated for a time at Corner Bay. The city incorporated in 1971.
- Tenakee Springs has a year-round population and also serves as a summer retreat for residents of Juneau, Sitka, Washington, and Oregon. Many residents practice a subsistence lifestyle and actively exchange resources with their neighbors. The sulfur hot springs, at 105 degrees farenheit, are the social focus of the community. Bathing times are posted for men and women.
- Federally Recognized Tribe
- 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.
- Tenakee Springs is dependent on seaplanes and the Alaska Marine Highway for transport. The state owns a seaplane dock and the city owns the heliport. Scheduled or chartered float planes are dispatched from Juneau and Sitka. The state ferry provides passenger transportation only, since there is no vehicle landing facilities in Tenakee. The main street is a 2 mile long walking trail. Barges deliver fuel and goods four to six times a year. The marine facilities include a small boat harbor and ferry terminal. The City of Tenakee owns a fuel dock. Local transportation is primarily by bicycle or ATV. As of May 2014, the Alaska Department of Transportation is replacing two floats and making upgrades to the boat harbor, with construction scheduled for the fall. The US Army Corps of Engineers is planning repair and renovation of the city dock, including fueling and a state Ferry facility. No construction date has been set.
- State Ferry
- Cargo Barge
- Road Connection