County, BIA enter agreement on Navajo road maintenance

County will maintain 212.7 miles of unpaved roads

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. - Following months of negotiations, Coconino County and the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) have reached an agreement to maintain unpaved bus routes on the Navajo Nation.

The County Board of Supervisors approved an intergovernmental agreement (IGA) with the BIA on May 22 in which the county agrees to maintain 212.7 miles of unpaved roads that serve as bus routes on the western Navajo Nation.

"I applaud the efforts of our County staff, the BIA and Navajo Nation to come to this agreement," said County Supervisor Lena Fowler, whose district includes a portion of the Navajo Nation. "While these roads primarily serve as bus routes, they also connect our community members to jobs, doctors and other services."

The county has maintained the Navajo Nation school bus routes for the past 14 years and has agreements to maintain other roads on U.S. Forest Service property. The agreement approved May 22 by the Board of Supervisors ensures the county will continue to maintain these crucial routes and acquire additional federal transportation funds to aid in keeping roads accessible.

"The agreement is an investment in the lifelines that connect communities, economies and families," said County Supervisor Mandy Metzger, whose district also includes the Navajo Nation. "It benefits all parties to keep these vital roadways usable and passable for our residents and school buses.

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