With the villages of Emmonak and Kotlik in the Alaskan press, I thought it would be helpful to list some resources you can use to find basic background information on Alaska communities. All of the resources I talk about in this blog entry can be found at http://wikis.ala.org/godort/index.php/Alaska, which is one page out of a larger project to try and provide a one stop, 50 state listing of public databases produced by state agencies.
Here are my suggestions for finding state-powered background information on any Alaskan community:
Community Database Online - THE place to go for information about Alaska's communities. Find population, history, municipal contact information and much more. Multiple communities can be selected and the information exported to Excel or other spreadsheet applications.
Community Funding Database - All grants and revenue sharing funds to communities administered by this division are included in this database. Programs include Fisheries Business Tax and National Forest Receipts. Looking up Emmonak shows a grant to purchase a fire truck in FY 2008 and road improvement grants being provided in FY 2009.
Capital Projects Database - The Capital Projects Database contains descriptions, funding levels and status for over 16,000 capital projects in Alaska communities. Information is searchable by community only. Multiple communities can be selected and exported to Excel.
Plans Library - "The Library contains a wide assortment of plans submitted to the Division of Community & Regional Affairs (DCRA) by communities, agencies and contractors. The database contains Community Plans, Comprehensive Plans, Economic Development Plans, and Strategic Plans among many more general and project related plans (such as Water Waste Plans, Relocation Plans etc)." Looking for plans related to Emmonak, I found three plans:
Business License Search - Over 100,000 business licenses that can be searched by line of business, business or owner name, license number, city, zip and whether license is active. Database is also available for download. When I searched for licensed businesses in Emmonak and limited the search to active licenses, I only found eight.
As I mentioned at the top of the post, I am suggesting these databases for finding background information only. For the most part they won't tell you about current conditions.