2nd Class City
in the Nome Census Area
- Area Type
- Current Population
- Population Comment
- 2013 DCCED Certified Estimate
- Pronunciation/Other Names
- (yoo' nuh luh kleet')
- Census Designated Place (CDP)
- Borough/Census Area FIPS Code
- Place FIPS
Election, Recording, and Judicial Districts
- Senate District
- House District
- Judicial District
- Recording District
- Cape Nome
Facilities and Amenities
- Municipal Facilities & Utilities
- Piped Water, Piped Sewer, Refuse Collection, Baler, Landfill, Police and State-funded Public Safety Officer (VPSO), Volunteer Fire, Dock, Boat Haul-out, Ticasuk Library, Bingo/Pull Tabs, Alcohol/Drug Hotline
Geography and Climate
- Unalakleet is located on Norton Sound at the mouth of the Unalakleet River, 148 miles southeast of Nome and 395 miles northwest of Anchorage.
- Unalakleet has a subarctic climate with considerable maritime influences when Norton Sound is ice-free, usually from May to October. Winters are cold and dry. Average summer temperatures range 47 to 62 °F; winter temperatures average -4 to 11 °F. Extremes have been measured from -50 to 87 °F. Precipitation averages 14 inches annually, with 41 inches of snow.
- Community Map Available
- Map URL
- Sq Mi Land
- Sq Mi Water
History and Culture
- Archaeologists have dated house remnants along the beach ridge from 200 B.C. to 300 A.D. The name Unalakleet means "from the southern side." Unalakleet has long been a major trade center as the terminus for the Kaltag Portage, an important winter travel route connecting to the Yukon River. Indians on the upper river were considered "professional" traders with a monopoly on the Indian-Eskimo trade across the Kaltag Portage. The Russian-American Company built a post here in the 1830s. In 1898, reindeer herders from Lapland were brought to Unalakleet to establish sound herding practices. In 1901, the Army Signal Corps built over 605 miles of telegraph line from St. Michael to Unalakleet, over the portage to Kaltag and Fort Gibbon. The city was incorporated in 1974.
- Unalakleet has a history of diverse cultures and trade activity. The local economy is the most active in Norton Sound, along with a traditional Unaligmiut Eskimo subsistence lifestyle. Fish, seal, caribou, moose, and bear are utilized.
- Federally Recognized Tribe
- Name of Federally Recognized Tribe
- Native Village of Unalakleet
- Local Option Restrictions
- Sale of alcohol is banned.
- 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.
- Unalakleet has a state-owned gravel runway and a gravel strip. There are regular flights to Anchorage. Cargo is lightered from Nome; there is a dock. Local overland travel is mainly by ATVs, snow machines, and dogsleds in winter.
- State Ferry
- Cargo Barge
- Road Connection