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Only roads that a part of Navajo County's Maintenance System will be graded. The grading schedule depends on the level of development of the road and will range from twice a year at minimum for primitive roads to every other week, the schedule is available in the County Maintenance Policy. Please call Public Works and request the Level of Development for your road. If the road has a damage road surface, residents can request that a supervisor visit the street and determine if the scheduled maintenance can be adjusted to include the subject street in advance of its normally scheduled routine maintenance. This is not guaranteed and if able to add into the work schedule, it will typically occur next time equipment is in the area.
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Funds used to maintain County roads are not derived from property taxes but from State of Arizona allocations of Highway User Revenue Funds (HURF). These funds are collected by the State of Arizona from the gasoline and diesel fuel tax and the vehicle license tax. The State Legislature then distributes these funds to the Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) (50%), Arizona cities (27.5%), counties (19%), Cities over 300,000 (3%), and MAG/PAG (15.2%) using a complicated formula competing primarily on population and gas sales.
The Arizona Association of County Engineers recently contracted with TASK Engineering to update the Roadway Needs Study for all the counties within the State. Their analysis shows that Navajo County should be spending $201,622,619 annually for maintenance instead of what current revenues are at $119,139,521 to bring County maintained roads and bridges up to modern standards. Comparing the funding needs with available HURF and limitations on what HURF can be used for, the county does what it can to perform maintenance at the levels they do.
Navajo County is governed by State Statutes as to how public funds are spent on roadways. If the road in question is not currently in the Navajo County Road Maintenance System and has not been accepted by the Board of Supervisors for maintenance, then the use of HURF funds is governed by State Statute §28-6705 which states: "The Board of Supervisors may expend public funds for maintenance of public roads and streets other than legally designated state and county highways located outside the limits of an incorporated city or town. Before expending public funds thereon, such roads or streets shall be laid out, opened and constructed Without Cost to the County and fully completed in accordance with a plat approved pursuant to §11-802 and §11-806.1, and in Accordance with Standard Engineering Road Specifications adopted by the County Board of Supervisors to insure uniform compliance. Public funds may be expended by the Board of Supervisors for maintenance of public roads and streets laid out, constructed and opened prior to June 13, 1990 even if such roads and streets were not constructed in accordance with subsection “A” of this section. A hand out can be provided with more detailed information.
Another method provided by State Statute for improving a roadway that does not qualify for public funds is to form a Road Improvement District. The basic requirement for formation of such a district is that a consensus to incur the necessary expenses must be reached by either a majority of the persons owning property or the owners of 51% of the property within the limits of the proposed district by time the application is heard by the BOS. It is suggested that a super majority it obtained to limit the chance that the percentage will drop lower than 51%. Each parcel will then be assessed an equitable share of the costs on each parcel’s tax bill. Please contact the Engineering Department for more information.
Navajo County does not procure materials for culvert installation but will provide requirements for the culvert that if met, including accessing a County Maintained Road, will be installed by Navajo County. Please fill out a Residential ROW Use Permit. Once submitted, a manager will be in contact with you to schedule a time for the installation as well as provide information of the required culvert diameter that will be needed. This is only for County Maintained Roads.
This is a complicated question with many possible answers that depend on many factors. Usually this will be considered a property owners dispute where your rights for access and their rights for being the land owner are needing to be determined, in these cases Navajo County will not become involved, talking with the neighbor or having someone arbitrate the issue may help resolve the problem. If that does not work, then a judgment could be sought.
Navajo County has jurisdiction over County Maintained Roads, and oversight over publicly dedicated roads and easements within the County. If there is no easement, convoluted documents, or if private; then again, Navajo County will not become involved and considers the issue a property owners dispute. Administration cannot be used to determine between different rights of different people.
If the easement or ROW is dedicated to the Public, then please contact Navajo County Engineering Department and explain the issue. There are some things acceptable and other that are not acceptable. If on a County Maintained Road, please contact the Road Yard as they have the responsibility to ensure the welfare of the traveling public on County Maintained Roads.
We highly recommend that the legal status of the roadway in question be thoroughly researched prior to installing any gates or fences on a road in the County. By researching and communicating with those who may be affected ahead of time, many issues can be solved and the process will be much simpler.
A Permit Application for Construction in County Right-of-Way must be obtained and approved before work can be done in the right-of-way. This would include public utilities, contractors, and individuals. There is no filing or inspection fee charged. However, work will be checked to assure that the use of the County property follows permit conditions. For work done within Public easements a ROW use permit will be required as well, but culvert installations are not eligible. If more than 50 CY or material is moved a Grading Permit will be required to be submitted as well.
Unpaved roads generate dust. Navajo County does not have a dust program though when doing major work on our dirt roads, we may use water to reduce the dust if there is one available. In the summer time, when dust is at its worst, there is not enough water trucks to utilize with every road grader and even when water is used, the dry climate rapid evaporation of moisture causes the roads to be dry after only 1 to 2 hours.
The Board of Supervisors of Navajo County is solely authorized to grant the abandonment of public rights-of-way within the unincorporated areas of Navajo County. The process to have an abandonment request reviewed and submitted to the Board of Supervisors is explained in the Roadway Abandonment Policy and Procedures. This document also contains an Application Form that must be submitted with any applicable fees. For questions or for more information, please contact the Engineering Department. All checks shall be made out to Navajo County Public Works.
Navajo County will evaluate applications and inform the applicant of staff support or if staff cannot support the application. If staff does not support the application, the applicant will have the option to have the application withdrawn where the fee will not be cashed or continue to have the application presented to the Board without staff support. Navajo County would then cash the check, create the Agenda Item and send out notices to those potentially affected by the proposed abandonment.
Navajo County has a list of all maintained roads as well as a web map that should be verified prior to being used in any capacity. For official confirmation, please contact the Navajo County Engineering Department who can officially confirm and can provide a letter in confirmation of road maintenance status.
Navajo County has a Snow Removal Policy that will describe in more detailed the snow removal process. In general Navajo County will remove snow within 48 hours following an event. With high priority roads essential for public travel opened first and then working on lower volume roads, and then transitioning to residential roads and roads of gravel surface. Primitive Roads will be last. It is recommended that those in need of assistance and those who are concerned about emergencies be prepared for the winter season and hire contractors to remove berms in front of driveway and to cut access to larger volume roads.
Navajo County does not repair roads specifically for emergency vehicle access. Unfortunately, the State of Arizona allows land to be developed and access roads to be constructed but does not regulate, inspect or monitor the construction of such roads. This is called “unregulated growth” and most of the roads within the county as such roads. There are options available to fix or maintain roads through formation of different districts.
Navajo County General Fund receives 8 cents per every dollar collected from property taxes that goes to the County and none of this goes to the Pubic Works for road maintenance or construction. The remainder goes to different districts including Schools, Fire, Library, and Water districts. The full list of entities the County collects tax for each property is listed within the tax bill or can be inquired located using the property tax map. The 8 cents go to help pay for all the services the County supplies to the public including the Sheriff Office, Recorder, Treasurer, Finance, Administration, Board of Supervisors, IT, Elections, Assessor, Attorney, Adult and Juvenile Probation, Facilities Management, and Fiduciary. No property taxes are spent on building or maintaining roads.
Navajo County is correcting addressing along with the entire State and Nation so that we can advance to NextGen911. In this system, Navajo County is working to correct addressing to fit within a Statewide system which will fit into a Nationwide system. A system where the County GIS information will be at the front of emergency calls and used for dispatch and by emergency services. Where previously many addressing inconsistencies were easily overlooked due to being rural and relying on dispatch and emergency service providers to adapt and be aware of the discrepancies often keeping notes or referring to paper maps of the area. Our goal is to change as few addressing as possible to create a clean addressing system that conforms with the State and National Standard with 98% or higher accuracy.
Navajo County is generally not in charge of fence repairs. Typically, ranchers or leasers of grazing rights are responsible for fencing cattle from leaving the leased land. However, Navajo County is also an open range County where large ranches do not need to place fencing between adjoining properties separated by a road. As an Open Range, property owners are required to fence out cattle from their property instead of ranchers being require fencing in their cattle.
Navajo County does have a few Corridors that have been identified as being safety issue due to changes introduced by Navajo County that is maintained by the County. Additionally, Navajo County has a Fencing Policy that is a cost share between property owners and the County for large corridors. Please contact Navajo County Engineering for more information, availability, requirements, and applications.
It is important to file reports when striking cattle or finding cattle that have been struck alongside the road. Tracking cattle strikes is important to Navajo County and is used as part of our Fencing Policy to identify and help verify safety issue. Currently, there is a lack of reporting incidence limiting our knowledge of issues within rural Navajo County.
Navajo County does not change asphalt road back to gravel or dirt. However, many roads have had surface treatments that helped to keep maintenance down. Typically, a double chip sealed is used. This is only ¼ inch to ½ inch thick and once it becomes damage is difficult to maintain. Once damage enough, the chip seal must be removed so that the gravel or dirt road can be maintained again until funding and evaluation of necessity warrants a new chip seal project. Many double chip seals were conducted with special funding from Grants. Secure Rural Schools funded a local Resource Advisory Committee which had projects competing for different grants. This program has been severely cut and is often not available. In some cases, Navajo County has enough funding to re-chip smaller gravel/dirt roads as part of our Capital Improvement Plan.