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Senior Center Coming to Tuba City

Senior Center Coming to Tuba City
July 29
14:48 2016

The Tuba City Senior Center, a modular building, is set to open on August 10.

With its $200,000 budget the Tuba City (To Nanees Dizi) Senior Center was able to renovate the building and bring it up to compliance.

However, it was supposed to be an office for the administration; it’s not equipped to act as a full senior center, according to the center’s General Manager Regina Allison.

The senior center regular draws 30 to 40 seniors on average, Allison said.

The original senior center was built in 1979. It has since been closed.

The Navajo Nation Council’s Resource and Development Committee approved using $3.7 million from the Unreserved, Undesignated Fund for the building of a new senior center.

“The building is too old. It’s crumbling,” said Tuba City Delegate Otto Tso. “The walls are cracking. That’s why Environmental Health closed the building.”

Tso’s bill passed unanimously – but without discussion.

Delegate Walter Phelps said he submitted similar legislation on behalf of Tolani Lake. The bill passed the council but was vetoed by Navajo Nation President Russell Begaye without any explanation, Phelps said.

Phelps said it would be inconsistent if Begaye approved this request.

Senior centers all across the Navajo Nation are crumbling, Tso said. It’s time senior citizens were put first, he argued.

Begaye and Vice President Jonathan Nez have made senior citizens one of the major planks of their administration.

Resource committee member Jonathan Perry was troubled by the fact that Tso’s bill did not include any supporting documents from the chapter.

“I don’t see any support from the chapter. There’s no resolution, not even a letter of support,” Perry said.

Past tribal leaders never kept the Tuba center on a continued maintenance plan, allowing the infrastructure to crumble, according to Brian Kensley, the Tuba City Local Governance planner.

In fact that was become a problem with many of the 86 senior centers on the Navajo Nation, Kensley said.

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