Navajo County's Economic Outlook

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Sheriff providing service to the community of Show Low

Background

Since 2008, Navajo County has been forced to reduce staff by 16 percent, and eliminate entire programs such as Juvenile Probation and Child Support due to losses in revenue. With the coal industry declining across the region, Navajo County is facing another $2.5 million loss.

The Navajo Generating Station and Kayenta Mine are expected to close in 2019, and the Cholla Power Plant in Joseph City is mandated by law to be closed by 2025.

  • This creates a $2.5 million loss to the County’s General Fund
  • The General Fund supports Law Enforcement, Criminal Justice, Elections, Assessor, Recorder, Treasurer, Planning & Zoning, Schools, Emergency Management and other services
    • Any loss of revenue would require cuts to these services to balance the budget

Great Recession

Since the Great Recession of 2008, Navajo County has reduced staffing by 16 percent, and reduced capital spending from $1.8 million to just over $500,000.

  • This includes vehicle replacement for law enforcement, as well as servers to support the County’s technical infrastructure

By 2018, the County had already “trimmed the fat” so much that in order to balance the budget, entire programs had to be eliminated.

  • The Juvenile Detention Program was cut, so juveniles are sent to Florence to be held
  • The County Attorney’s Child Support Program was also cut, turning those services back over to the state to manage and may delay initiation and enforcement actions

Impact of Coal on Services

Should a revenue replacement not be found, The County will be forced to do another round of reductions to services and jobs.

  • Reduce another 20 to 25% of jobs
    • Another 80 people could lose their jobs
      • Reduces staffing levels to 60% of what they were in 2008

How would these reductions impact public safety?

  • Public Safety is the largest cost to the general fund, so avoiding impacts to this area is impossible
    • Could lose 8 Patrol Deputies (17% of all Patrol positions)
      • Equivalent to Patrol District that serves Winslow and Holbrook
    • 13 or more Corrections Officers and jail support staff
      • Limiting the Sheriff’s ability to bring in revenue by housing Federal inmates
    • 3 prosecutor positions will be eliminated
      • The Attorney’s Office will be limited in their pursuit of justice for victims
    • Deterrent programs such as Veterans Court (which helps veterans rehabilitate and avoid jail) will be eliminated
      • Expanding the chances of seeing repeat offenders

How would these reductions impact other County services?

  • The region becomes much less business and development friendly
    • Services slow down and take longer
      • Processes that take 1 day could take up to a week
    • Service availability could be limited, causing longer travel and wait times
      • Services may no longer be offered in both north and south County communities

Click HERE for more information on Prop 419