Here at Navajo Council special session for $220 million Bond.
DELEGATE KATHERINE BENALLY
Delegate Elmer Begay asked about community recommending Capital Improvement Projects and that was done. And then another letter was sent out to Delegates and local government officials for their CIP recommendations. And those were reviewed and included in list of projects to be financed by $220 million Bond.
ORRICK BOND COUNSEL DOUGLAS GOE
Delegate Lorenzo Curley asked important question. Bond allows lot of flexibility in repayment. From investor standpoint, investor buying full faith and credit of Navajo Nation to identity whatever source of revenue it wishes to pay back Bond. If economic development projects, infrastructure and refinancing of judicial facilities and there’s already amount set aside internally to repay those judicial facilities and that just example of flexibility of nation going forward to identity source of repayment. From investor standpoint, they are looking for promise to repay and they know that nation has repaid and rating agencies have rated with promise to repay.
DELEGATE KATHERINE BENALLY
There is also concern that these are considered as Free money. But no where free money be given. Building of infrastructures will provide for businesses. Whatever is identified as source of repayment now, can be changed and we cud use general funds but revenues will be generated from new businesses that will be constructed because of new infrastructure constructed. New business building that will be constructed will be leased to businesses. The lease payments will be collected and deposited into general fund, along with taxes from the new businesses.
DELEGATE LEONARD PETE
I KNOW LOT OF discussion this mooring and I made it known, I don’t know if true. And if true, what boggles mine is that we are to generate more than $7 million and don’t think mean business. Second year is $36 million.
Concerned about repayment source but what doing is authorizing credit that would be reimbursed with bond. After (CAUCUS) discussion this morning, I will support legislation and you all support this legislation.
DELEGATE PETE, YIELD TIME TO DELEGATE LEONARD TSOSIE
I think all of us want economic development but how do we do it and there are different ways to do it. Some of us wud like do little differently. if vote not today, not against economic development or that don’t want it. Even if this doesn’t get necessary vote, let’s not get upset over number but to work on it and provide for different method of funding. I like KeyBank cuz respect Navajo sovereignty. I don’t like Wall Street. They want to expose Navajo nation to New York law. And we now change our minds. Look what did with Veterans Trust Fund. The money is here. We don’t have to go begging. It’s just a matter of disciplining ourselves.
Say with due respect to Madame Chair Katherine Benally that we saw the numbers on Bond capital improvement projects and we didn’t put on chart like Delegate Elmer Begay. If don’t pass today, let’s not be upset. Let’s continue working.
DELEGATE JONATHAN NEZ
While I have floor, thank Speaker and Council for your assistance in my family’s time of loss. I loss my brother couple of weeks ago. And also thank staff for condolences and prayers. Tough time for family but brother knew the Lord and brings comfort to me and family.
With Legislation, thanks for graph cuz shows pro-active chapters that have been doing much of groundwork. And I kow some of us on flor have been advocating for grassroot development and see that here and more in future. Lot of chapters not listed here are developing economic development plans. So let’s keep encouraging chapters/communities. From 88 delegates to 24, delegates had more time to move projects forward and now we are busy with law making. so local officials moving those local projects. I understand as always buzz word of Council here is equity-equal distribution and fairness. The projects in Bond are from Council for past couple of years. I took into consideration and look to Resources & Development Committee/Delegate Tsosie said build around major roads/highways. And some of us took that challenge to propose major project along rez major arteries. Support this and once have banks look at us as legitimate then upcoming projects wud be easier to fund. If don’t move forward, I don’t foresee anything happening from this Council. We need to be more pro-active so financial institutions see us as legitimate.
DELEGATE ELMER BEGAY
To assist long time businesses by adding: The Navajo Nation Council authorizes the appropriation of $2 million to hire economic consultants to conduct economic study to construct Green building for Green Economic Development projects.
DELEGATE JONATHAN NEZ SECONDS
Heard term Southwest but other colleagues are looking at other renewable projects. And even for his area, $2 million not enough. Little more funding allocated since we just passed Energy Policy as guide and so no excuse to say we can’t do it. But with Delegate Begay we can build on Energy Policy and add funds and make reservation wide intiative.
I appreciate wat Delegate Begay attempting. But we don’t need another study. This is like Navajo Housing Authority. They keep studying and run ot Phoenix while people keep going homeless. Let us support Land Department to put all infrastructure on map. I don’t understand why we don’t have complete map today. But Land Dept doing study and put on GPS map and that wud tell us where old business at and who needs help. And from here look at it. I look at some chapters and I don’t think matter of chapter being super good but the projects for the Bond financing are from two Councils ago and why say use different funding. For example, I don’t understand why in here that we look at some hotels and help out. True economic development is Romero Brown’s effort to develop chain and on his own. We never helped. Why is it not in here. You cud have lot of jobs with five hotel chains in five agencies. WE have tourism all over. Why cant we do that. Also RV parks. We want rental cars with Nevada license plates to go to Twin Arrows with map that shows hotels and RV parks. I don’t need another study. All of us know what is needed. WE cud combine federal housing funds. Swayback paid to tell us what we already know. Appreciate amendment but don’t need another study. Go to different way of funding.
DELEGATE JONATHAN HALE
On the amendment, to allocate large amount of money to consultant, we shud issue directive to Navajo Tribal Utility Authority or Green Commission.
DELEGATE LORENZO CURLEY
Amendment raises concerns for me cuz just allocating funds for work that Division of Economic Development is being paid to do. Delegate Tsosie also noted that list of projects are incomplete and outdated cuz Division of Economic Development is without expertise to do job and just put this before us. We, all of us, can think of businesses that shud be out there. There will be an opportunity for Delegate Elmer Begay’s proposed in Part II of $220 million bond.
VOTING ON DELEGATE ELMER BEGAY AMENDMENT FOR $2 MILLION FOR STUDY FOR GREEN PROJECTS AT 1:53 PM: 5 in favor, 11 opposed