Meeting focuses on Navajo Nation's economic future - Albuquerque Journal

Meeting focuses on Navajo Nation’s economic future

FARMINGTON — A public meeting on Tuesday will focus on economic development strategies for communities dependent on coal production on the Navajo Nation.

Input and feedback about the strategies will be collected to help improve the strategies and recommendations for possible implementation, meeting organizers say.

Adrian Dotson, project manager for the study, said the study centers on coal mining, including pending closures and transition in production and the impact to the economy and employment.

Changes include the future closure of the Navajo Generating Station in Page, Ariz., and the reduction in coal production at Navajo Mine, the project’s press release states.

“We want anyone who feels they are stakeholders or feel they will be impacted by the closure,” Dotson said.

The public meeting will be held from 8 to 11 a.m. in the Merrion Conference Room at San Juan College’s School of Energy.

For more information about the meeting, contact Adrian Dotson, project manager, at adrian@etd-inc.com.

The study started in April, and the meeting is a step in completing the process, Dotson said.

As part of the study, draft strategies have been developed, and information from those strategies will be presented to the community.

Dotson said some of the strategies focus on enhancing tourism, technology for agriculture and modern water usage, gaming, hospitality, clean energy development and redeveloping the work force.

The project is funding by a grant from the U.S. Economic Development Administration’s Partnerships for Opportunity and Workforce and Economic Revitalization Initiative, and is administered by the Navajo Nation Division of Economic Development.

The Obama administration initiative was created to invest federal economic and work force development resources in communities and regions impacted by change in the coal industry, its website states.

A public meeting will be held on Monday in Page, Ariz., to discuss the closure of the Navajo Generating Station.

Last month, the U.S. Department of the Interior issued the final approval for the lease to keep the generating station in operation until December 2019, according to a press release from the Salt River Project.

Noel Lyn Smith covers the Navajo Nation for The Daily Times. She can be reached at 505-564-4636 or by email at nsmith@daily-times.com.

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©2017 The Daily Times (Farmington, N.M.)

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