2nd Class City
in the North Slope Borough
- Area Type
- Current Population
- Population Comment
- 2013 DCCED Certified Estimate
- Pronunciation/Other Names
- (kack toh vick); includes Barter Island
- 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
- Cable TV, Recreation, Bing/Pull Tabs, North Slope Borough Provides Electricity, Refuse Collection, Landfill, Health Clinic, Police, Volunteer Fire/ EMS, Public Safety Building
Geography and Climate
- Kaktovik lies on the north shore of Barter Island, between the Okpilak and Jago Rivers on the Beaufort Sea coast. It lies in the 19.6-million-acre Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, an occasional calving ground for the porcupine caribou herd.
- Community Map Available
- Map URL
- Sq Mi Land
- Sq Mi Water
- The climate of Kaktovik is arctic. Temperatures range from -56 to 78 °F. Precipitation is light, averaging 5 inches, with snowfall averaging 20 inches.
History and Culture
- Until the late nineteenth century, the island was a major trade center for the Inupiat and was especially important as a bartering place for Inupiat from Alaska and Inuit from Canada. The city was incorporated in 1971.
- Due to Kaktovik's isolation, the village has maintained its Inupiat Eskimo traditions. Subsistence is highly dependent upon caribou.
- Indigenous Language
- Federally Recognized Tribe
- Name of Federally Recognized Tribe
- Kaktovik Village
- Local Option Restrictions
- Ban sale, importation, and possession 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.
- Air travel provides the only year-round access to Kaktovik. In addition to serving as a crucial link for passengers and cargo, aviation is also the primary means by which Kaktovik residents receive mail. The Barter Island Airport is owned by the Air Force and operated by the North Slope Borough. As of 2014, a new airport and runway are being built. In addition to air and overland transportation, marine transportation provides seasonal access to Kaktovik. Barges deliver cargo to the community during the summer. Barges are beached in front of the community, and materials are unloaded there to be hauled to the village. As of 2014, no boat ramp was present in the community, and boats were stored on the beach of Kaktovik Lagoon. The community would like a boat ramp to allow safer ocean launching of boats, and also report that the current launching area is too shallow and should be relocated.
- State Ferry
- Cargo Barge
- Road Connection