2nd Class City
in the Aleutians East Borough
- 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, Electric, Refuse Collection, Landfill, Public Safety Office, Volunteer Fire, Dock/Harbor, Airport Maintenance (State Contract), Roads, Community & Youth Center, Boat Haul-out, Larsen Library, Post Office (Federal Contract), Equipment Rental, State Funded Public Safety Officer (VPSO)
Geography and Climate
- False Pass is located on the eastern shore of Unimak Island on a strait connecting the Pacific Gulf of Alaska to the Bering Sea. It is 646 air miles southwest of Anchorage. The city owns approximately 66 square miles of land and water.
- Community Map Available
- Map URL
- Sq Mi Land
- Sq Mi Water
- False Pass lies in the maritime climate zone. Temperatures range from 11 to 55 °F. Annual snowfall averages 56 inches, with total annual precipitation of 33 inches. Prevailing southeast winds are constant and often strong during winter. Fog is common during summer months.
History and Culture
- The name False Pass is derived from the fact that the Bering Sea side of the strait is extremely shallow and cannot accommodate large vessels. The area was originally settled by a homesteader in the early 1900s and grew with the establishment of a cannery in 1917. Natives immigrated from Morzhovoi, Sanak Island, and Ikatan when the cannery was built. A post office was established in 1921. The cannery operated continuously, except from 1973 to 1976, when two hard winters depleted the fish resources. It was destroyed by fire in March 1981 and was not rebuilt. The city was incorporated in 1990.
- The community is primarily Unangan. Fishing, fish processing, and subsistence activities are mainstays of the lifestyle.
- Indigenous Language
- Federally Recognized Tribe
- Name of Federally Recognized Tribe
- Native Village of False Pass
- Local Option Restrictions
- Sale by specific type of license only.
- 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.
- Boats and aircraft provide the only means of transportation into False Pass. A seaplane base and a state-owned gravel airstrip are available. Mail and passenger flights arrive three times weekly. There is a boat harbor with electricity and water at the floats, and a dock and boat ramp are available. Cargo barges are available from Seattle. No local taxi or delivery services exist in False Pass. The state ferry operates once a month between May and October from Kodiak.
- State Ferry
- Cargo Barge
- Road Connection