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Old 03-31-2011, 05:04 PM
 
Location: Bethel, Alaska
21,337 posts, read 30,935,960 times
Reputation: 13634

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St. Paul Island Tours, the Galapagos of the North!!

Looks like a great place in the summer. Birds!
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Old 03-31-2011, 06:02 PM
 
3,774 posts, read 9,564,665 times
Reputation: 1799
First of all, I would ask the city what housing is available. Food costs are outrageous. The transit to or from the island is controlled by the weather. If it isn't too windy or fogged in, the planes will fly, but the passengers who had their trips cancelled due to weather are first served.

Food is 3-4 times as expensive as it is in Anchorage. When PDF time comes around, Sam's and Costco runs in town are the standard way of stocking up. A package of Oreos in St. Paul will run you around $7-8 minimum. A steak can run from $28-35. Fuel costs were around $7.50 a gallon last summer, but the price has to have gone up since then. In some villages last year, I saw prices as high as $10 a gallon, and I only went out to 8 villages last year.

There are 2 stores in St. Paul (I think). I stayed in teacher housing (it was summer). The island is beyond remote. It will take 2 planes to get there from Anchorage, unless it is a charter out of Anchorage. As the director of Public Works, you will learn that sewage and lighting and power are not like anything, anywhere, in the lower 48. There is no grid, and St. Paul's nearest neighbor, St. George is 40 miles south across the water. You can sometimes see it on a clear day. St. George is closing it's school this year (under minimum enrollment), and the students will be attending school in St. Paul.

It is pretty in summer, when the sun is shining. I would not plan on basing living conditions on anything you have experienced outside. Wind and rain are the average.

Sorry to be the bearer of sad tidings, but it is the truth.
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Old 04-01-2011, 06:45 AM
 
10 posts, read 27,480 times
Reputation: 15
Just after I last posted I talked on the phone with the City clerk...she verified much of what you just said...housing would be subsidized by the city but would still run about $1000 a month w/utilities...One store on the island that she said carried almost anything but was very expensive...she said that a bunch of them got together twice a month and ordered bulk co-op style and saved quite abit.
Naturally most of my questions were logistical in nature about the job itself...manpower,equipment,facilities,budget..etc . I was actually impressed with all of it given the location. It seems that the lions share of the budget comes from the sales tax on the crab/halibut industry. All of the utilities are buried and maintenance of that would comprise the majority of the work scope altho she did say that there was constant new construction expansion of sewer/water etc.
All in all if I am offered this job I will more than likely take it... I have heard and read nothing so far that feels insurmountable to me..and much of it appeals to me. The personal and professional challenge of it not the least of it.
Thank you all for the info..
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Old 04-01-2011, 08:31 AM
 
Location: on top of a mountain
6,992 posts, read 9,860,440 times
Reputation: 3245
Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard11!! View Post
All in all if I am offered this job I will more than likely take it... I have heard and read nothing so far that feels insurmountable to me..and much of it appeals to me. The personal and professional challenge of it not the least of it.
Thank you all for the info..
Congrat's to you for having the fortitude to make such a change in your life!!! best of luck and if you do get the job...please keep posting with info and photo's!!!
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Old 04-02-2011, 11:34 PM
 
936 posts, read 724,506 times
Reputation: 2275
Quote:
Originally Posted by stiffnecked View Post
Your experiences in up-state NY will be worthless as far as living on St. Paul Island. Nothing you've done so far will help you with the mental adjustment it will take to live on the island. This isn't a rural area. St. Paul is just flat out and out isolated.
This is so true and well said. Understated; actually. I'm not sure that one can emphasize "isolated" enough.

St. Paul is a very cool place. One of the things that hasn't been touched on, though is, that the vast majority of the island is private property that you won't be allowed to go on. No birding, no hiking, no fourwheeling, and they MEAN IT, too. Even the Coasties stationed there don't have free rein on the island. You have to pay for access to the two seal blinds which are very close in, and you can only go to the rest of the island if you are with a tour or part of the Native corporation.

I really enjoy going out there but it really bums me out that so much of the island is off limits. Living there...I can't imagine how one wouldn't lose their mind without at least free run of the island.

I recommend stopping by the LORAN station and getting to know the Coasties- fun people and nice facility. In general most people on St. Paul are really fun. The place just has some serious limitations.
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Old 04-03-2011, 06:44 AM
 
10 posts, read 27,480 times
Reputation: 15
Thx for that info...That is exactly one of the reasons I posted to this board..to learn some of the more obscure things that are only available thru first hand experience. While able to see pie-charts on privately owned lands there would be no way other than that to know they were totally off limits.
Actually the isolation issue is one of the things that appeals to me about this job opportunity..
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Old 04-03-2011, 10:34 AM
 
936 posts, read 724,506 times
Reputation: 2275
If you like isolated - that's your place!

Edited to add: I don't know if this is an issue for you, but dogs are not allowed on the island at all.
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Old 04-03-2011, 03:36 PM
 
3,774 posts, read 9,564,665 times
Reputation: 1799
Just cats.
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Old 10-17-2012, 06:55 PM
 
Location: northeastern MD
108 posts, read 101,792 times
Reputation: 70
Richard, did you take the job?
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Old 03-08-2017, 07:35 PM
 
1 posts, read 252 times
Reputation: 10
Default Island of St Paul, Alaska

An inquiry from someone who had applied for a job was asking what the living standards were on the Island of St Paul, i.e., housing, healthcare, utilities, shopping, etc. He apparently claimed to have previously inquired about these things without an answer to his inquiry, but decided to apply for a job in the meantime. I understand his effort to go forward with a positive mind, but perhaps, he should have gathered this information prior to applying for the job.

But I also have to wonder myself, why a city's website would tout its community by stating that it would be a good place to raise a family or retire in--and yet, offer no substantive information about livability (being the standard information) about the cost of living, housing, healthcare, utilities, shopping, transportation to the island, and other average and pertinent amenities. This lack of basic information--to support a claim of desirability or to merely entice interest in the community--causes me to doubt its accuracy and/or truthfulness--or maybe its genuine interest in wanting to grow, and in order to do so, to attract new residents and new commerce.
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