CHINLE YARD - HISTORY
In 1983, a road maintenance yard was established in Chinle, Arizona after extensive litigations in the 1970s [Goodluck v. Apache County, 417 F. Supp. 13, 16 (D.C. Ariz. 1975), aff’d 429 U.S. 876, 97 S.Ct. 225, 50 L.Ed.2d. 160 (1976); United States v. Superior Court in and for Maricopa County, supra; (Tom) Shirley v. Superior Court, 109 Ariz. 510, 513 P.2d 939 (1973), cert. denied, 415 U.S. 917, 94 S.Ct. 1415, L.Ed.2d 472 (1974)]
Louise A. Dennison was District One’s first elected Representative to the Apache County Board of Supervisors. She served two consecutive terms from 1977 – 1984. Former Supervisor Dennison acquired a bond sale from Apache County for construction funds. The funds were given to the District One Roads Department to purchase a modular trailer to be used for a sub-office.
Supervisor Dennison’s intent was to facilitate a Roads Department also include other governmental services and accommodate the transportation issues and needs of children attending school.
In a letter dated February 6, 1983 Supervisor Dennison wrote “The benefits associated with education is promising if attendance with learning experience is improved by repairing the transportation system.”
The Chinle Chapter supported Supervisor Dennison’s endeavors and approved a four (4) acre site through a resolution to Lease such lands to Apache County. It was Supervisor Dennison who initiated the foundation of District One, her determination and perseverance to expand governmental services to the Dine People living in Northern Apache County was versatile.
A lease agreement between Navajo Nation, Bureau of Indian Affairs, and Apache County was signed and approved on April 12, 1983 for the establishment of the county sub-station in Chinle. The term of the lease was for 25 years.
During 1993, former Supervisor Joe Shirley, Jr’s Administration, an additional two (2) acres was added for expansion of the road yard adjacent to the existing tract. The expansion derived from the increase of needed public services such as the Motor Vehicle Division, Justice of the Peace and for stock piling material such as gravel, culverts, and parking county vehicles and machinery. More importantly, to construct a larger Fleet Shop for heavy equipment maintenance. The Navajo Nation and Bureau of Indian Affairs approved the two acre expansion in May 1993.
The term of the original lease expired on February 24, 2009 and District One exercised the Option to Renew. However, considering the current rule and regulations set forth by the Navajo Nation and Bureau of Indian Affairs, Supervisor Jim Claw preferred District One comply with all mandated regulations of the leased land.
Presently, District One is pursuing a new lease, with a fifty (50) year term and working closely with the Navajo Nation. District One will continue to stay within the six (6) acre compound and continue to provide road maintenance on the existing school bus routes. The proposed fifty year lease is currently going through the Navajo Nation Legislative 164 Review Process and is nearly completed.