Chapters receive money from Navajo Nation for power line extensions

CORNFIELDS, Ariz. - Council Delegate Alton Joe Shepherd (Jeddito, Cornfields, Ganado, Kin Dah Lichíí, Steamboat) presented about $527,000 to the Cornfields Chapter June 14 for power line extensions to provide electricity to 16 families.

The presentation was one of three that also included money for Jeddito Chapter and Kin Dah Lichíí Chapter. On June 3, $477,000 for power lines to 33 homes in Kin Dah Lichíí was presented and approximately $152,000 was presented to Jeddito Chapter for power lines to 10 homes.

At each presentation, Shepherd thanked the chapter administration, elected officials, and the chapter members for supporting the projects through the approval of chapter resolutions and other efforts.

"The chapters completed the majority of the preliminary requirements such as right-of-ways, archeological clearances, and environmental clearances," Shepherd said, noting that the chapters also payed for the completion of electrical wiring in all 59 homes.

The money was made available through legislation sponsored by Shepherd and approved by the Navajo Nation Council on April 22, which included money from the Undesignated, Unreserved Fund Balance for other infrastructure projects in numerous Navajo communities.

Cornfields Chapter Manager Elizabeth B. Johnson said chapter officials and residents are thankful and excited to proceed with the power line projects, pointing out that the money will increase the overall residential electrical coverage in Cornfields to 95 percent - meaning that 95 percent of all residents in Cornfields will have electricity when the projects are completed.

Johnson said the Cornfields Chapter is LGSC certified, which allows the option for the chapter to manage the projects and is currently working with Navajo Tribal Utility Authority to move forward. She also said the Cornfields Chapter passed a resolution on June 14, requesting the money to be released through the Division of Community Development.

Shepherd also thanked former and current members of Council and former President Ben Shelly for supporting and approving the legislation. Overall, approximately 300 families will gain electricity from the money approved by the Council.

"Through their votes and approval, the quality of life for many Navajo families living without electricity will be improved," Shepherd added.

Other communities approved for funding include Littlewater, Ojo Encino, Kayenta, Shonto, Tó Nanees Dizi, Mariano Lake, Round Rock, Chichiltah, Manuelito, Tsé Lichíí', Rock Springs, Tsayatoh, Whitehorse Lake, Many Farms, Tselani/Cottonwood and Newcomb.

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