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LITTLE ALASKA VILLAGE THAT GREW UP VOTES TO MOVE

This 140-year-old village on a slender coastal spit on the Chukchi Sea has run out of room to grow, so villagers have voted to pack up and leave.

Kivalina, population 300, has no place to build, no more room for outhouses and no more space in the city dump. Arctic waters, meanwhile, are eating away its banks at a rate of 2 feet a year.Last week, the town's residents voted 74-7 to relocate the whole village, although local leaders are unsure how the move would be made, who would pay for it or where they would go.

Squeezed on a 5-mile-long, half-mile wide strip of land in northwest Alaska, Kivalina grew from a springtime hunting and fishing camp to a full-time village.

In the spring, melting snow causes the waters to rise, cutting off the village, which is bordered on three sides by the sea, a lagoon and an airport, said City Councilman Victor Swan.

The village has no running water, a "little bit of electricity," a school, a native food store and not much else, he said.

Since there is no room to build, some families have been forced to share housing. And some of the newer houses were built atop outhouse pits, said Northwest Arctic Borough Mayor Chuck Greene.

Villagers also have asked for $250,000 from the state to study a possible move and other options, including moving the airport and using that land for housing; building a bridge to a nearby island or other body of land; or filling in the Kivalina Lagoon.