New Rock Point Sub-Office to provide services to residents of northern Apache County

ROCK POINT -- Navajo Nation President Joe Shirley Jr. joined Apache County Supervisor Jim Claw, county officials and residents of the northern portion of the county to celebrate the grand opening of a long-awaited sub-office here.

The community came together Dec. 8 to celebrate the grand opening of the sub-office, which is located in a building next to the Rock Point Chapter House. President Shirley, who was an Apache County supervisor for 18 years, said he was pleased to see community residents receiving needed services from the county.

"It's a milestone for the community," Rock Point Chapter President Clarence Begay told about 80 residents and officials. "Driving in today, I saw the sign that said Apache County Sub-Office, and it felt really good."

The sub-office will primarily provide road and highway services to this community of 4,500 residents and surrounding communities, said Nancy Tsosie, the new office manager. Space for the sub-office consists of three 26-by-40 foot rooms.

She said all of the heavy equipment operators in the office have obtained their CDL certification.

Peggy Scott, the county district manager in Chinle, credited her staff member Lena Clark with helping bring in more than $3 million in grants to help county residents.

"She's one of those people who never stops working," she said.

Supervisor Claw said the office opening came about because people worked together.

"If you don't have partnership, you don't accomplish very much," he said. "We saw the needs. We saw how the people were living."

The office will be home to two road graders, a dump truck and a front-end loader. Operators now must commute from Teec Nos Pos but the office hopes to be able to expand and hire local workers.

Francis Redhouse, Navajo Nation Council delegate from Teec Nos Pos, said he understands that 83 percent of the roads in the northern portion of the county are dirt. He said he'd like to see that reduced and reversed.

(George Hardeen is Navajo Nation Communications Di-rector.)

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