FLAGSTAFF, AZ — Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez and Matt Ryan, Coconino County Board of Supervisors Chair, signed a Memorandum of Understanding in Flagstaff, AZ establishing the framework for the Navajo Nation Division of Transportation and Coconino County to collaborate on road maintenance, repairs, and other transportation initiatives that are mutually beneficial. The MOU was signed with members of the 24th Navajo Nation Council and Coconino County Board of Supervisors in attendance.
“This MOU lays the foundation for future partnerships and for the $1.2 trillion Infrastructure Law passed by Congress and signed by President Biden,” said President Nez. “This partnership is crucial to leverage funding and resources to improve and maintain roadways on the Navajo Nation, within Coconino County. We have to work hard to make this MOU effective in the long-term. I appreciate the Coconino County Board of Supervisors, Navajo Nation Division of Transportation Director Garret Silversmith, the 24th Navajo Nation Council, and all of the road work crews.”
There are over 1,700 miles of dirt and paved roadways within Coconino County and the Navajo Nation. The MOU also establishes a work group composed of representatives to carry out the objectives, which includes planning, repairing, and improving existing school bus routes.
“Navajo Division of Transportation appreciates the re-establishment and continuation of this MOU with Coconino County for another five years,” said Garret Silversmith, Navajo Nation Division of Transportation Director. “This renewed MOU is the result of a continued partnership and coordination of President Nez, 24th Navajo Nation Council, and the leadership of the county and the Board of Supervisors. The previous MOU produced successful results that included the completion of transportation improvement projects, and the incorporation of safety aspects into each of these ventures.”
“Coconino County values its important partnership with the Navajo Nation,” said Matt Ryan, Coconino County Board of Supervisors Chair. “On behalf of the Coconino County Board of Supervisors, I want to thank President Nez and the Navajo Nation Council for their continued commitment to partnerships with the county, especially when it comes to maintenance and improvement of our roads. Roads get our children to school, our families together with their elders, and connects to the market and jobs. This MOU will allow Coconino County to continue advancing important transportation projects with the Navajo Nation and promote continued collaboration between our governments. We thank and congratulate President Nez on signing and renewing this important agreement.”
“This successful partnership with the Navajo Nation remains a vital priority,” said Lena Fowler, Coconino County Board of Supervisors Vice Chair. “I am so thankful for the extension of the MOU with the Navajo Nation for another five years. The signing of this agreement allows the county to continue to improve 286 miles of school bus routes, which are the main roads on Western Navajo.”
President Nez joined the county officials in recognizing and honoring the Coconino County Navajo Roads Team that maintains and improves roadways on a daily basis. The team members include Carlos Paddock, Ernest Graymountain, Jeremiah Sangster, Jimmie Honanie, and Juan Williams.