Naabi recommends to Navajo Council to buy land for $49M

Naa’bik’iyati unanimoulsy accepts two reports: Navajo Department of Justice report regarding US Treasury offsets. Presented by Navajo Attorney General Ethel Branch, and Nicole M. Elliott, public policy attorney for Holland & Knights Law Firm. Report by Navajo Technical University president Elmer J. Guy, Phd.

Committee moves to LEGISLATION 0253-17:¬†An Action Relating To Naabik’iyati’ Committee; Regarding The Purchase Of Property Offered For Sale To The Navajo Nation By The Owner Of 17,544.79 Acres, More Or Less, Located Within Yavapai County, Arizona.

Legislation Description: This legislation approves the purchase of 17,544 acres of land offered for sale by the owner, located in Yavapai County, Arizona. The purchase is under the Land Acquisition Policy and Procedure and with funds available in the Land Acquisition Trust Fund.

Naabi has recessed for ten minutes to discuss memo that was distributed to members. Naabi back in session at 1:11 pm.

MOTION by Delegate Raymond Smith to exchange memo in legislation with May 24 memo from Controller Kirk. Seconded by Delegate Ben Bennett. SPEAKER PRO TEM Seth Damon explains that addition of May 24 memo needs to be a new exhibit attached to legislation.

$115M in Navajo Nation Land Acquisition Fund and Council wud have to approve this land buy with two-thirds vote.

DELEGATE EDMUND YAZZIE what was difference when Naabi was final vote on Colorado Ranch?

PRO TEM DAMON that is what I want to talk about in executive session. Naabi votes 9-5 to go into executive session in south Council chambers. It is now 1:44 pm.

CORRECTION: Price for Yavapai County land was $50M but Delegate Otto Tso made an amendment to reduce that amount to $49M.

Naabi comes out of executive session at 2:05 pm with vote of 15-0

DELEGATE RAYMOND SMITH Naabi tabled this when it came before Naabi once before. If I recall when it was Tabled there was reason regarding Motion to Table for 60 days on Land Appraisal. I don’t see in legislation. That was on July 25, 2017. As reading legislation, it was stated that price very inflated and we tabled to find out fair market value.

SPEAKER PRO TEM SETH DAMON there was land appraisal.

SPONSOR DELEGATE WALTER PHELPS Land department did land appraisal, 125 pages and can be printed but don’t know how long take. for your info, previous land purchases didn’t have land appraisals attached.

DELEGATE RAYMOND SMITH we shud everything available for us and here for our discussion rather than hasn’t been done before. I want to see appraisal. I want to see cost. We dropped price by $10M and is that based on appraisal. Who did appraisal? When was it done? I’d like answers.

SPONSOR DELEGATE PHELPS land department did one and I don’t know the company that did appraisal. The buyer also had land appraisal done by separate company. We can wait while Land Department prints appraisal.

DELEGATE RAYMOND SMITH that is why we have Naabi. That is why we have all the time.

DELEGATE OTTO TSO It is each delegates’ responsibility to go to tribal government offices and get information that they want.

SPEAKER PRO TEM SETH DAMON calls for final vote when no other delegate raises hand for questions.

VOTE 12-3 to recommend to Navajo Nation Council to purchase 17,544.79 acres for $49M.


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