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Petersburg becomes Alaska's 19th borough

Alaska Dispatch
WikiCommons

The small urban center of Petersburg in Southeast Alaska, some 120 miles south of the state capital of Juneau, has officially become Alaska's 19th borough. According to the Alaska Public Radio Network, the state Division of Elections certified the town’s borough vote Thursday.

APRN reports that final tally was 782 votes for and 600 against. The new municipality includes 3,829 miles of land and water in the Southeast area surrounding Petersburg, which under the new borough has been dissolved.

Brent Williams, a local government specialist with the Local Boundary Commission, told APRN that all the requirements for official borough status have been met. Williams said, “The city of Petersburg is dissolved and the borough is formed. There’s no other announcement. The two things that were required have been done.” (Those two requirements being approval by the voters and approval by the federal government.)

Williams added, “The Department of Justice had to notify us that the Voting Rights Act of 1965 has been complied with and we received such a letter. The second thing is that certification had to be approved of the legally required voter approval of the commission’s final decision from the director of elections and we did receive notification from elections that the results have been certified.”

Petersburg’s population is approximately 2,824 full-time residents. The city petitioned the Local Boundary Commission for borough status and last summer the LBC decided to grant the request under state standards. The first Petersburg Borough Assembly meeting will be held 7 p.m. Monday. Read more