Committee backs bill to rebuild homes destroyed by fire

The Daily Times staff
Smoke rises from the Assayii Lake Fire June 20, 2014, in the Sand Spring area on Ch'ooshgai Mountain in New Mexico.


FARMINGTON — A bill to provide supplemental funding to replace homes destroyed in the Assayii Lake Fire cleared the latest Navajo Nation Council standing committee last week.

The Resources and Development Committee voted in favor of the bill that proposes $764,000 in supplemental funding to replace homes destroyed in the 2014 fire, according to a press release from the Office of the Speaker.

The amount would come from the Unreserved Undesignated Fund Balance, and it would be provided to the Naschitti Community Governance to help replace 24 homes, the bill states.

The fire burned approximately 11,000 acres in addition to shelters and livestock quarters, the speaker's office release states.

The committee also amended the bill to eliminate money for livestock feed and to reduce the number of homes from 27 to 24, according to the release.

The Resources and Development Committee is the second standing committee to consider the legislation.

It now moves to the Budget and Finance Committee, then to the Naa'bik'íyáti' Committee and to the Navajo Nation Council, where final authority rests.

In September, the council approved funding to rebuild homes as part of the comprehensive budget for fiscal year 2018, but the request was line-item vetoed by tribal President Russell Begaye.