State nixes competing Nushagak annexation plans

Jun 7, 2016

Preliminary report to LBC recommends western Bristol Bay instead form long-discussed borough and share revenues from taxes on salmon, herring, and tourism.

Map of proposed new borough.
Credit DCCED

KDLG: Neither the city of Dillingham nor the city of Manokotak will likely be collecting raw fish tax through annexation any time soon. A new report by staff to the Local Boundary Commission says petitions from both cities failed to meet the necessary conditions to move ahead with annexation of parts of Nushagak Bay.

Manokotak mayor Melvin Andrews doesn’t agree and says they will continue efforts to gain some economic control over the mouth of the Igushik river.

The city of Manakotak seeks to annex a portion of Nushagak Bay, including the mouth of the Igushik river. The city of Dillingham is trying to claim waters all the way into the Wood river.
Credit State of Alaska

"We have been attempting to maintain our ancestral rights to keep Igushik managed through our tribe and municipal entities. The tribe has not been able to move forward with it, so the city has moved forward when we’ve had the chance, as well as attempts to oppose Dillingham’s attempts to annex areas strongly related to Manokotak," Andrews said.

The LBC took issue with the overlapping boundaries of the two plans. It countered with the idea of instead forming a new Borough. The commission says that’s the best way to fairly distribute tax revenue from what it calls a regional resource.