Citing environmental and labor problems, the National Park Service has suspended the concession contract for San Juan Marina on Lake Powell.
The marina, which is owned and operated by the Navajo Tribe at Paiute Farms on the Utah side of the man-made lake, offered houseboat rentals, small boat rentals, a boat fueling dock and other facilities and services.The suspension was ordered by John Lancaster, superintendent of Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, which includes Lake Powell and its marinas, and went into effect Tuesday.
The action means no boat fuel will be available to recreationists on the 60-mile-long San Juan River arm of Lake Powell.
Utah Navajo Industries Vice President Dick Neztsosie told the Deseret News Tuesday the tribe is attempting to set up a meeting with the Park Service as quickly as possible in order to resolve the matter.
"It is difficult to address any issues without the opportunity to provide responses to any of the alleged discrepancies, and the Utah Navajo Industries looks forward to quickly resolving any problems that may exist," Neztsosie said. "We do not believe the temporary suspension will in any manner affect the operations for the 1989 season."
Charlie DeLorme, whose Wild Rivers Expeditions often used the marina, said Monday that the temporary closure will pose a hardship to his company and other boaters.
"No question about it that, it'll be a difficulty," he said.
The marina opened in the spring of 1987 under a concession contract with the tribe, which in turn contracted with Utah Navajo Industries, a Blanding-based operation that is owned entirely by the tribe.
Lancaster said Navajo Industries repeatedly failed to meet state and federal health standards for the marina's water and sewer system, and did not resolve continuing management problems, which led to a strike that closed the marina during the busy summer season.
Ann Excell, who works in the contracts office at Glen Canyon NRA headquarters at Page, Ariz., said the water system situation has been monitored very closely.
"We take water samples there once a week, just as we do in all of the developed areas around the lake. "They (Navajo Industries) have not completed a water and sewer system that was supposed to go in there, and have been hauling drinking water in by a certified source. Something went wrong with that supply earlier in the year, and the water samples that we got back showed a problem."
No one apparently suffered any health problems because of the bacteria.
People who have reservations to rent houseboats through the marina should contact the chief of concessions, Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, at (602) 645-2471, to arrange a refund or other accommodations.