THE COMMITTEE is now on LEGISLATION 0009-14: which is revisions to the Navajo Road Fund Management Plan. The B&F Committee Legislative Advisor Peggy Nakai is reading the amendments to the Roads Fund Management Plan and there are numerous amendments being proposed.
SPONSOR OF LEGISLATION 0009-14, DELEGATE DWIGHT WITHERSPOON
Intent of legislation was to address fairness of Fuel Excise Tax and where it goes. B&F just approved Navajo Department of Transportation’s corrective action plan that was created in response to its audit. The audit addressed how the NDOT was using the Navajo Fuel Excise Tax. The Resources and Development Committee is recommending that RDC appropriate all Fuel Excise Tax for administration and roads. And why are we using our money to pay for the Bureau of Indian Affairs Roads Program administration?
B&F CHAIRPERSON LORENZO BATES
I’d like to ask the Auditor General if there wud be any conflict between this Legislation 0009-14 and Legislation 0034-14, which was the Navajo Department of Transportation’s corrective action plan for its audit?
B&F COMMITTEE MEMBER DELEGATE LORENZO CURLEY
I’m wondering if Navajo communities in New Mexico support NDOT’s decision to move some of its roads fund to Navajo communities in Utah. And this legislation also calls for Resources and Development Committee to allocate the Navajo Roads Fund. Where those monies go is subject to politics unless there are published regulations on where and how the Roads Fund is to be spent. “That’s what I’m afraid of.”
And for NDOT Ben Bennett, I believe that chapter needs help with this regionalization plan: 10 percent administration and 90 percent direct services.
NDOT BEN BENNETT
Have $5.4 million under 90 percent. as you know planning, designing and construction are three separate phases. But rights-of-ways, Navajo Environmental Protection Agency clearances, etc. must be done first then we can better the raod conditions for communities.
B&F COMMITTEE MEMBER CURLEY
Had meeting in Hard Rock Chapter and only way was to go through Hopi villages and mesas. So how do you get grader to Hard Rock?
SPONSOR DELEGATE WITHERSPOON
Certainly have greater pool if put under 90 percent but those are also tagged for construction of roads which is a huge cost. And so having a defined pool for planning and design shows how much is available and how much is being spent.
B&F COMMITTEE MEMBER DELEGATE DANNY SIMPSON
I think that before B&F approves that NDOT and Witherspoon sit down and compromise on what they disagree on. And that there be a work session with B&F and so motion to TABLE.
Just clarify that if use document here that this is document you can work from. Green document in initial form was breakout. At joint session it sounded like group didn’t want to proportionalize and so there is not taking of Roads funds from one portion of the Navajo Reservation to another.
COMMITTEE VOTES ON TABLING OF LEGISLATION 0009-14 FOR B&F WORK SESSION: VOTE IS FOUR IN FAVOR, 0 OPPOSED