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Navajos to Spend $100 Million on Infrastructure

Navajos to Spend $100 Million on Infrastructure
May 11
12:29 2018

Navajo Nation lawmakers will spend more than $100 million on infrastructure projects across the reservation.

The money will come from the Sihasin Fund.

The infrastructure will include waterlines, power lines and various capital projects.

But who deserves the credit?

The executive and legislative branch each issued dueling press releases touting their role in delivering the money.

“The Office of the President and Vice President is taking action in providing basic needs to our people. This legislation supports Navajo Nation veterans, elders and youth,” Navajo Nation President Russell Begaye said. “It focuses on improving infrastructure, roads, water, sewer systems and broadband capabilities.”

The projects will improve quality of life for the Navajo people and economic development across the Nation, Begaye added.

A release from the 23rd Navajo Nation Council said the council proved its commitment to the Navajo people by unanimously approving the multi-million dollar expenditure.

“With this $100 million investment, the 23rd Navajo Nation Council is looking years down the road, and planning for the future of our people and the Great Navajo Nation,” Council Delegate Seth Damon said.

The expenditure is for “every grandma out there who has no running water and electricity, for every child that has to do their homework in the dark,” Damon said.

When the Navajo Nation received $554 million from the federal government as part of a settlement agreement in 2014, the 23rd Navajo Nation Council created the Síhasin Fund in order to grow the balance. The council then held a series of public hearings to hear directly from the Navajo people.

“The  results of the hearings  overwhelming showed that the people  want water lines, power lines and other basic infrastructure,” Navajo Nation Speaker LoRenzo Bates said.

The council’s press release did note that Begaye used his line item veto authority for striking down $833,333 for a BIA road in Rock Point and $350,000 for the planning of a BIA compound in Shiprock.

Those projects are the responsibility of the BIA, Begaye explained.

 

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