2nd Class City
in the Aleutians West Census Area
- Area Type
- Current Population
- Population Comment
- 2013 DCCED Certified Estimate
- Pronunciation/Other Names
- 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 Seward, Electric, Refuse Collection, Landfill, Volunteer Fire/ EMS, Fire Station, Harbor/Port, Airport, Fuel Sales, Roads, Parks & Recreation
Geography and Climate
- St. George is located on the northeast shore of St. George Island, the southern-most of the four Pribilof Islands. Over 210 species of birds nest on the cliffs of St. George Island. It lies 47 miles south of St. Paul Island, 750 air miles west of Anchorage, and 250 miles northwest of Unalaska.
- Community Map Available
- Map URL
- Sq Mi Land
- Sq Mi Water
- The climate of St. George is controlled by the cold waters of the Bering Sea. The maritime location results in cool weather year-round and a narrow range of mean temperatures varying from 24 to 52 °F. Average annual precipitation is 23 inches, with 57 inches of snowfall. Cloudy, foggy weather is common during summer months.
History and Culture
- For centuries, Aleuts traveled to St. George from the mainland for hunting and fishing. In 1786, while looking for the famed northern fur seal breeding grounds, Gavril Pribilof of the Russian Lebedov Lastochkin Company became the first non-Native to travel to the island. The island was named Sveti Georgiy (St. George), and its larger neighbor to the north was originally called St. Peter and St. Paul Island. The Russian American Company enslaved Aleut hunters from Siberia, Unalaska, and Atka and relocated them to St. George and St. Paul to harvest the fur seal. Between 1870 and 1910, the U.S. Government leased the Pribilof Islands to private companies, who provided housing, food, and medical care to the Aleuts in exchange for work in the fur seal plant. In 1910, the U.S. Bureau of Fisheries took control of the islands, but poverty conditions ensued due to over-harvesting of the seals. During World War II, residents were moved to Funter Bay in Southeast Alaska as part of the areawide evacuation. Unlike other Aleutian residents, they were confined in an abandoned cannery and mine camp. In 1979, the Pribilof Aleuts received $8.5 million in partial compensation for the unfair and unjust treatment they were subjected to under federal administration between 1870 and 1946. In 1983, the U.S. government ended the commercial seal harvest and withdrew from the islands, providing $8 million to St. George to help develop and diversify the local economy. The city was incorporated in 1983. Today, residents are working to develop commercial fisheries and tourism.
- St. George's population is predominantly Aleut and Eskimo. The Pribilof Island seal population and the community's dependence on it has been a major influence on the local culture. More than a million fur seals congregate on the islands every summer.
- Indigenous Language
- Federally Recognized Tribe
- Name of Federally Recognized Tribe
- Saint George Island
- 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.
- Saint George is accessible only by air and sea. There are two airstrips; one is owned by the city, and the other is owned by the state. Scheduled flights are provided to Saint Paul and the mainland. Most freight and supplies are delivered by ship from Anchorage on a monthly or bimonthly schedule; cargo from Seattle arrives five or six times a year. There are three docks; one is operated by the village corporation. An inner harbor and dock are in Zapadni Bay, 5 miles from the city.
- State Ferry
- Cargo Barge
- Road Connection