“ The Petersburg City Council, its Boards, Commissions and staff are dedicated to enhancing the quality of life for people in our community by providing a superior level of service in the most effective and efficient manner. We value open communication, community consultation, honesty, fairness, unity, and teamwork.”
Tlingit Indians from Kake utilized the north end of Mitkof Island as a summer fish camp. Some reportedly began living year-round at the site, including John Lot. Petersburg was named after Peter Buschmann, a Norwegian immigrant and a pioneer in the cannery business, who arrived in the late 1890s. He built the Icy Strait Packing Company cannery, a sawmill, and a dock by 1900. His family's homesteads grew into this community, populated largely by people of Scandinavian origin. In 1910, a city was formed, and by 1920 600 people lived in Petersburg year-round. During this time, fresh salmon and halibut were packed in glacier ice for shipment. Alaska's first shrimp processor, Alaska Glacier Seafoods, was founded here in 1916. A cold storage plant was built in 1926. The cannery has operated continuously and is now known as Petersburg Fisheries, a subsidiary of Icicle Seafoods, Inc.
Since its beginning, Petersburg's economy has been based on commercial fishing and timber harvests. Petersburg is currently one of the top-ranking ports in the U.S. for the quality and value of fish landed. Several processors operate cold storage, canneries, and custom packing services. The state runs the Crystal Lake Hatchery, which contributes to the local salmon resource. Petersburg is the supply and service center for many area commercial fishing vessels, recreational boaters, smaller cruise ships, and logging camps. Independent sportsmen and tourists utilize the local charter boats and lodges, but there is no deep water dock suitable for large cruise ships.
Location & Climate
Petersburg is located on the northwest end of Mitkof Island, where the Wrangell Narrows meet Frederick Sound. It lies midway between Juneau and Ketchikan, about 120 miles from either community. It lies at approximately 56.812500 North Latitude and -132.955560 West Longitude. (Sec. 27, T058S, R079E, Copper River Meridian.) Petersburg is located in the Petersburg Recording District. The area encompasses 43.9 sq. miles of land and 2.2 sq. miles of water. Petersburg's climate is characterized by mild winters, cool summers, and year-round rainfall. Average summer temperatures range from 40 to 56 °F; winters average from 27 to 43 °F. Annual precipitation averages 106 inches, with 97 inches of snow. *State of AK, DOT AMHS.
2,948 (US Census)
Home Rule City originally incorporated in 1910. The City currently employs 11 lead staff and many support positions. Regular elections are held the 1st
Tuesday in October. City Council meets every 1st
Mondays. The current city sales tax is 6%. www.ci.petersburg.ak.us
Petersburg Municipal Power & Light. Power source: hydro; diesel backup. Kilowatt capacity: 10,600. In November of 2010 the small commercial rate for 1,500kWh/month was $0.1355 with a monthly fee of $9.00. (JEDC Asset Mapping Report)
Water & Sewer Utilities
Water is supplied by Cabin Creek dam, a 200-million gallon water reservoir, then is treated and stored in a 2.1 million gallon tank and distributed via pipes to 80% of households. A few homes use individual wells or water delivery. Nearly all homes are plumbed. Piped sewage receives primary treatment. The wastewater treatment plant processes approximately 240 million gallons of wastewater per year while meeting all of its discharge limitations and preserving the receiving waters of Frederick Sound. Recently completed projects have extended the wastewater system to all major developments within the City limits.
City-owned/operated landfill and refuse collection, shipping baled refuse to Washington State.
The State-owned James A. Johnson Airport (6,000' x 150' asphalt) and Lloyd R. Roundtree Seaplane Base. Harbor facilities include three docks, two petroleum wharves, two barge terminals, three boat harbors with moorage for 700 boats, a boat launch and boat haul-out.
Accessible by air with regular jet and float/small plane service and sea via the State-operated Alaska Marine Highway System.
Within the Petersburg City School District there are three schools; Rae C. Stedman Elementary Kindergarten through 5th grade, Mitkof Middle School 6th grade through 8th grade, and Petersburg High School 9th grade through 12th grade. Enrollment in the 2010-11 school year was 507. Student-teacher ratio 12.8:1.
Petersburg Medical Center. The hospital is a qualified Acute Care and Long Term Care facility. Specialized Care: Petersburg Council on Alcoholism. Petersburg Public Health Center. Emergency service is provided by 911 Telephone Service and volunteers.
Federally Recognized Tribe
Petersburg Indian Association. (Village Council; Bureau Of Indian Affairs-Recognized Indian Reorganization Act Council, but not ANCSA)
Other Community Buildings
Petersburg Aquatic Center, Boys and Girls Club, Community Recreation Center, Clausen Memorial Museum, City Public Library, School Libraries.
Community Economic Development Projects
This page last updated 6/20/12