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, Piped Sewer, Landfill, EMS/Ambulance, Clinic, Dock, City Roads, Municipal Building, Community Center
Geography and Climate
- Cold Bay is located in the Izembek National Wildlife Refuge at the western end of the Alaska Peninsula. It lies 634 miles southwest of Anchorage and 180 miles northeast of Unalaska.
- The city has a maritime climate, with temperatures ranging from 25 to 60 °F. The average annual rainfall is 36 inches, and average annual snowfall is 55 inches. Wind speeds of 30 mph are common for Cold Bay.
- Community Map Available
- Map URL
- Sq Mi Land
- Sq Mi Water
History and Culture
- Archaeological sites dating to the last ice age indicate the area around Cold Bay was once inhabited by a large Native population. It was used by European hunters and trappers throughout the 19th century. Izembeck Lagoon was named in 1827 by Count Feodor Kutke, after Karl Izembeck, a surgeon aboard the sloop "Moller." During World War II, Cold Bay was the site of the strategic air base Fort Randall. At that time, the airport was the largest in the state with a 10,000' runway. The city was incorporated in 1982.
- Cold Bay services the fishing industry and houses a number of federal offices with services focused on Aleutian transportation and wildlife protection. Subsistence and recreational fishing and hunting are a part of the local culture. Up to 70,000 Canada geese migrate through Cold Bay in the fall. Izembeck Lagoon offers the world's largest eelgrass beds, providing feeding grounds for more than 100,000 brant during their spring and fall migrations.
- Federally Recognized Tribe
- 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.
- A state-owned paved and lighted runway with a crosswind runway, an FAA flight service station, and a seaplane base are available. Cold Bay is a regional transportation center and provides scheduled flights to surrounding communities. The community has a dock but wants to develop a breakwater, boat harbor, and boat launch. Marine cargo services are available monthly from Seattle but not from Anchorage. The state ferry operates bi-monthly from Kodiak between May and October. There are approximately 40 miles of local gravel roads.
- State Ferry
- Cargo Barge
- Road Connection