Native News Network Staff in Native Briefs. Discussion »
NAZLINI, ARIZONA On Monday morning, Speaker Johnny Naize welcomed chapter officials, staff, and community members to the newly opened US Post Office in Nazlini, located approximately 19 miles north of Ganado, Arizona.
Speaker Naize praised the efforts of current and previous Nazlini Chapter staff who overcame many obstacles over the course of nearly a decade to establish the new 896 square foot facility.
“This is a small rural community, but it took a lot of time and effort to work through the red tape just to get to this stage,”
said Speaker Naize.
According to Nazlini Chapter Secretary and Treasurer JoAnn Dedman, the post office was once housed in a local trading post until the owner closed the business in 2002, forcing community members to travel to the nearest post office in Ganado.
Nazlini chapter officials then agreed to a contract with the US Postal Service that temporarily returned postal services to Nazlini residents at their chapter house. However, following an audit conducted by the Navajo Nation Auditor General's Office, the contract was deemed unlawful.
Dedman said Speaker Naize played an instrumental role in bringing together the Navajo Nation Department of Justice and the US Postal Service to negotiate a new contract and also in obtaining funds to enable the establishment of the new post office.
“Mr. Naize was able to secure $150,000 through the [Resources and Development Committee] to fund the construction of the new post office,”
Nazlini Chapter President Johnson Claw, said the US Postal Service's ongoing financial losses will not impact the Nazlini Post Office because it is mostly a self-sustaining entity.
“We only receive a little over $600 a month from the US Postal Service and most of that goes toward the salary of the postmaster,”
“Due to limited funding, the postmaster is only able to operate the post office for four hours a day.”
Chapter officials sought donations and held fundraising events to make the facility fully-functional, explained Dedman.
Desks, carts, and other items were donated by Chinle Indian Health Services, added Dedman, noting that the chapter also plans to purchase vending machines to create additional revenue for the post office.
“We have to learn to be self-sustaining, that's the goal,”
“So that's what those vending machines will do. There's no store nearby and people are always looking for snacks, so that will generate a lot of money which we can invest back into operating this place.”
The post office provides 500 mailboxes and other postal services for residents of Nazlini, Chinle, Wood Springs, and several other surrounding areas.
posted September 11, 2013 6:40 am edt