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Kayenta Township dedicates, hosts ‘push-in’ ceremony for new fire trucks

KAYENTA

The Kayenta Township held a dedication and “push-in” ceremony on Aug. 24 for two new fire trucks, according to a township news release.

Geri Laughter, the township’s acting manager, said, “Since October 2021, I have seen much growth. It started as a volunteer fire department for about 40 years and showed a lot of dedication and commitment to the community.

“Today, it operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week,” she said. “It takes a lot of work and commitment, and I appreciate the staff at the Kayenta Fire Department.”

Fire Chief Ronald Singer said, “I have seen a lot of growth and the need for change. I took it upon myself the position to make those changes, not just for the personnel’s safety but also for the community.”

Courtesy photo | Chris Burnside, Kayenta Township
Participating in the Kayenta fire truck dedication and “push-in” ceremony, are Lemuel Adson, left, superintendent of the Kayenta Unified School District, Stephen Young, athletic director for Kayenta Unified School District and, fourth from left, Jo D Ward, Kayenta Township commissioner, alongside Kayenta firefighters.

The fire department operates and relies on tax revenue and answers calls as far away as Teec Nos Pos, Shonto, Cow Springs, Chilchinbeto, Navajo Mountain, and Red Mesa.

The Navajo Nation has not been supportive while the township’s fire department continues to struggle due to the rising cost of fuel, maintenance, and repairs. Other issues include a lack of sleeping quarters and training facilities.

Jo Ward, a township commissioner and business owner in the area, said, “What makes Kayenta unique is it is not a border town. Kayenta is about 90 to 100 miles from any border town.

“At times, Window Rock forgets about us,” she said, “and they failed to recognize us. Since the closure of the mine, nobody comes here, no one wants to move here. It is important to have a strong fire department.

“When an accident happened in Teec Nos Pos, nobody shows up – Kayenta shows up,” she said. “No one shows up when there is a fire in Chilchinbeto – Kayenta shows up!”

Ward pleaded with surrounding chapters for support since a time will come when the township will no longer offer support to chapters because of a lack of funding.

Public comment wanted for 264 alignment study

MILAN, N.M. – The New Mexico Department of Transportation, in coordination with the Federal Highway Administration, is conducting an alignment study on New Mexico 264 from the Arizona/New Mexico state line to the U.S. 491 interchange at Yah-Ta-Hey, New Mexico.

This highway serves as a key corridor to the Navajo Nation, connecting communities to Window Rock and serves as a connection to U.S. 491.

Share your comments before Sept. 22 in the following ways:

  • Email: NM264Study@hdrinc.com
  • Call: 602-299-9581
  • Visit the project website: www.dot.nm.gov/projects/nm264study
  • U.S. Postal Service mail to: NM 264 Study C/O, Kristi Shepherd, HDR Engineering, 20 E. Thomas Road, Ste 2500 Phoenix, AZ 85012.

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