2nd Class City
in the Bethel Census Area
- Area Type
- Current Population
- Population Comment
- 2013 DCCED Certified Estimate
- Pronunciation/Other Names
- (chuath' bah luck); formerly Russian Mission
- Census Designated Place (CDP)
- Borough/Census Area FIPS Code
- Place FIPS
Fisheries Participation and Earnings
- Number of Commercial Fishing Permit Holders
- Number of Commercial Fishing Permits Issued
- CDQ Participant
- CQE Eligible
Election, Recording, and Judicial Districts
- Senate District
- House District
- Judicial District
- Recording District
Facilities and Amenities
- Municipal Facilities & Utilities
- Water treatment plant, Lift Station, Sewage Lagoon, Washeteria, Landfill, Volunteer Fire, Fuel Sales, Land Sales, Gravel Sales, Roads, Community Center, Teacher's Housing, rental units, land leases.
Geography and Climate
- Chuathbaluk is located on the north bank of the Kuskokwim River, 11 miles upriver from Aniak in the Kilbuk-Kuskokwim mountains. It is 87 air miles northeast of Bethel and 310 miles west of Anchorage.
- Community Map Available
- Map URL
- Sq Mi Land
- Sq Mi Water
- A continental climate prevails in Chuathbaluk. Snowfall averages 85 inches per year, with total precipitation of 17 inches per year. Temperatures range from -55 to 87 °F. Heavy winds can cause flight delays in the fall. The Kuskokwim River is ice-free from mid-June through October.
History and Culture
- Chuathbaluk was the site of an Ingalik Indian summer fish camp in the mid-1800s. The village has been known as Chukbak, St. Sergius Mission, Kuskokwim Russian Mission, and Little Russian Mission. The village was often confused with Russian Mission on the Yukon, so, in the 1960s, the name was changed to Chuathbaluk, which is derived from the Yup'ik word "Curapalek," meaning "the hills where the big blueberries grow." The Russian Orthodox Church finished the St. Sergius Mission in 1894, and residents of Kukuktuk from 20 miles downriver moved to the mission. Tragically, much of the village was lost in an influenza epidemic in 1900. By 1929, the site was deserted, although Russian Orthodox members continued to hold services at the mission. In 1954, the Sam Phillips family from Crow Village resettled the mission and were joined later by individuals from Aniak and Crooked Creek. The church was rebuilt in the late 1950s, and a state school opened in the 1960s. The city was incorporated in 1975.
- Chuathbaluk residents are Yup'ik Eskimos and Tanaina Athabascans. Subsistence is a crucial source of food.
- Indigenous Language
- Central Yup'ik
- Federally Recognized Tribe
- Name of Federally Recognized Tribe
- Native Village of Chuathbaluk
- 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.
- The Kuskokwim River serves as the major carrier for supply barges, skiffs, and float planes from Aniak and Bethel. A state-owned gravel airstrip is located one mile north of the village and has scheduled air service. In the winter, ski planes land on the frozen river, and vehicles are sometimes driven on the ice road to neighboring communities.
- State Ferry
- Cargo Barge
- Road Connection