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Community Development Projects
 


THE COUNCIL OF NAT'AA / ATSILASDAI
In order to implement and manage these priority projects effectively, SCG proposes a referendum on the November general election ballot to change the governance system into a Community Assembly and a Council of nine members that will include the present five elected officials and four regional representatives. The Assembly of community members will meet quarterly to enact resolutions and ordinances, and will appoint the regional representatives. The Council will meet monthly as the policy-making body, oversee Chapter operations, and hire the Executive Manager.


SHTH ARTIST AND TRAVEL PLAZA


Location: Junction of US160 and SR 98, Naatsisn Scenic Road, Shonto, AZ, Navajo Nation

Project Description: A 10-acre tract of land for commercial and industrial development on the south side of the highway at the junction of Arizona SR98 and US160. SR98s designation as an Arizona Scenic Road makes the area eligible for funding from the Federal Highway Administration. Traveler services are needed because there is no public rest stop or tourism information available for many miles in each direction in this rural region. Plans for the site include a visitor center, an artisans plaza, restaurant, and other locally-owned businesses. SCG is organizing an Entrepreneur Council to advise on business development and potentially manage this site.

Project Status: Contributions include: Abandoned Mine Lands Reclamation (AML), $300,000, water, sewer line, and power lines; Arizona Department of Transportation, $50,000, pullouts and turn lanes from US HWY 160; Arizona Office of Tourism, grant for a visitor kiosk; Drachman Institute, $40,000, Master Plan and documents; Native Peoples Technical Assistance Office, construction support, training, and video for visitor kiosk; Tuba City RBDO, invaluable technical assistance and on-going support. Max Bighorse Consultant Engineer has completed the engineers site plan and infrastructure design. GIANT Industries is interested in the gas station and convenience store site. Dine Propane, Inc. has leased 2.5 acres of the 10-acre site. Potential lessees will be selected and lease documents are estimated to be completed by the end of 2006.

 

SHTH PUBLIC SERVICE & HOUSING COMPLEX, AN 18-ACRE SITE

Location: BIA 221/128, south of Shonto Preparatory School, Shonto, AZ, Navajo Nation

Project Description: 18 acres of land has been withdrawn and approved by the Bureau of Indian Affairs for the Shth Public Service Complex. Under the auspices of the Arizona Department of Commerce, the University of Arizonas Drachman Institute completed the Master Plan for the entire site with the following facilities and amenities:

  • Public Service and Professional Office Complex;
  • Community Service Facility, a collaboration between agencies with a focus on health, wellness, and prevention, with activity centers for youth, elders, and families;
  • Public Safety Facility, housing fire, police, and emergency medical services;
  • Housing with units available for ownership or rental;
  • Outdoor Amenities, connecting the buildings with space for community activities, including amphitheatre, healing garden, walking path, play structures, and sculptures.
  • Project Status: As an LGA-certified chapter, Shonto can contract directly with government agencies and private businesses. Land withdrawal is completed and approved. Utilities to the site boundaries are in place. Drachman Institute contributed a Master Plan valued at over $45,000. Grand Canyon Trust is providing technical assistance. A Business Plan is in process to support for sustainable operations. A Steering Committee of community members and user groups was formed in 2005 to secure commitments for construction and operating costs. The nonprofit Shonto Community Development Corporation, Inc. is applying for grants and loans to complete the project. Collaborating agencies and organizations are contributing technical assistance.

     

    REGIONAL TOURISM DEVELOPMENT AND NAATSISN SCENIC BYWAY

    Location: The Chapters of Shonto, Navajo Mountain, and Inscription House in Western Navajo

    Project Description: The District 2 Chapters Inscription House, Navajo Mountain, and Shonto are establishing a scenic loop from the Crossroads junction at Arizona SR98, north into Navajo Mountain, Utah, east to Navajo National Monument, and west to Shonto. An Arizona Office of Tourism $49,000 grant for Project Explore will network self-serve visitor kiosks with tourist-oriented destination signage to enhance the tourism experience and support economic growth. This region, virtually undiscovered and definitely under promoted, has incredible potential for extending visitor stays and increasing Arizonas economic vitality.

    Project Status: Approximately 3 million tourists travel through this area every year. There is interest from visitors and residents for introducing and expanding the tourism market in back country areas. Western Agency chapters are at the hub of the Grand Circle, Trail of the Ancients All-American Road, Kayenta-Monument Scenic Byway and the Vermillion Cliffs Scenic Byway. SR98 was recently designated as Naatsisn Scenic Byway. In addition to the $49,300 grant and ADOT improvements at 160/98, contributions include: Native Peoples Technical Assistance Office, kiosk design, materials, and interpretive signage; Grand Canyon Trust, coordinating Regional Tourism projects; ADOT Scenic Byways and Tribal Tourism programs, in-kind services and support; Navajo National Monument, an anchor facility and collaborator. This project will create opportunities for local residents to educate tourists from all over the world about our culture, traditions, and landscape.

     

    SHTH RURAL ELECTRIFICATION AND RENEWABLE ENERGY PROJECT

    Location: Throughout Shonto Community Governance and beyond.

    Project Description: Shonto Community Governance proposes a dynamic solution to providing our residents with utilities by forming a Renewable Energy Public Utility. Instead of placing poles and miles of wire across the landscape, we propose to develop small solar/wind generating systems that can serve up to three to four homes typical of scattered family living areas. Systems will be installed and maintained by the public utility, with charges comparable to or less than what each household would pay for an electric bill. This type of system is projected to be more efficient and less costly than the standard poles and wire infrastructure. At the same time, it will be quicker to install, there will be no right-of-ways involved, and the landscape will not be cluttered. Electrification will enable satellite technology for internet connections and voice-over telephone systems. We are also investigating methods for water collection and waste water treatment.

    Project Status: In March 2006, this project was proposed to Dr. Dean Smith, Applied Indigenous Studies, Northern Arizona University. The preliminary investigation was funded by an Arizona Department of Commerce grant. In June, an energy audit was conducted and a presentation made to the community. NAUs Applied Indigenous Studies and Business College, with Grand Canyon Trust are providing technical assistance. Researchers and policy makers are interested in monitoring SCGs project to see if it can be a pilot for other rural and tribal public utilities. The next steps are to conduct research into appropriate technology, decide on a system to be installed, prepare a business plan, and seek financing.

    SOLID WASTE OPEN/ ILLEGAL DUMP SITE GPS AND INVENTORY PROJECT

    Location:Western Navajo Agency District II which includes the chapters of Shonto, Ts ah Bii Kin, and Navajo Mountain

    Project Description: In an effort to be proactive about the issue of Solid Waste Management and Illegal/ Open Dump sites, the Shonto Community Governance, through its non-profit Shonto Community Development Corporation (SCDC), applied and received funding from the United States Department of Agriculture for their project.  The project entails using GPS (global positioning system) technology to accurately identify, map, and inventory open/ illegal dump sites.  The project purpose is to gather data on the needs for Solid Waste Management infrastructure in Western Navajo Agency District II and to provide the residents of the communities and their elected officials with information on Solid Waste practices and alternatives to the methods currently being utilized like open dumping. An end product is to be an Integrated Solid Waste Management Plan which is a document designed to outline current Solid Waste Management issues and forecast Solid Waste needs in order to strategically plan how to address those areas so proper and informed decisions can be made.  Also, a Solid Waste Management Working Group is to be assembled of elected officials, Solid Waste professionals, and community members to guide the project direction and assist in decision making for WNA District II.

    Project Status: The SCDC Project Manager has been working with officials and community members within WNA District II to locate and map open/ illegal dump sites.  In the Summer of 2009 the SCDC hired 4 temporary Solid Waste Management Trainees to assist in mapping and research.  The SCDC Project Manager and the Solid Waste Management Trainees have been working diligently on GPS mapping and reporting to the Western Navajo Agency District II Council, and the local communities through open session meetings and chapter meetings.  A Solid Waste newsletter is being developed to assist with promoting the project as well as providing relevant information to the community about Solid Waste issues.  

     




    2009 Shonto Community