Council OK’s spending plan for Sihasin Fund

Navajo Times | Donovan Quintero
Council delegates sit in session this week. One item passed Tuesday was a spending plan for the Sihasin Fund, releasing $100 million for infrastructure projects all over the Navajo Nation.

WINDOW ROCK

It was a late night Tuesday as lawmakers passed a $100 million expenditure plan for capital outlay projects spanning the entire Navajo Nation.

A few months ago the Sihasin subcommittee agreed that delegates would meet with Speaker LoRenzo Bates’ staff and identify the power lines, water lines, and various capital improvement projects in each of their communities. In the next three years the funds are to be implemented in accordance with this Síhasin Fund Power Line and Chapter Projects Expenditure Plan.

“This Council is well aware of the infrastructure needs of the Nation in terms of water, electricity, roads, and so on,” said Bates to the Times. “There’s been no other time in our history that the Nation has invested more dollars into infrastructure development. “We are talking nearly half a billion dollars that the 23rd Navajo Nation Council has approved and supported since taking office in 2015,” he said.

Bates said the idea for this expenditure plan began during a debate on the Council floor several months ago where Budget and Finance Committee Chair Seth Damon proposed the idea and it eventually led to a directive from the Síhasin subcommittee. Since then the speaker’s office has been working with the Capital Projects Management Department, Navajo Tribal Utility Authority, and other entities to develop a list of projects that need funding.

The process gained momentum at the start of March when staff began meeting with delegates and their respective chapters to identify projects that were at the top of their priorities in terms of their local needs, said Bates. “It was good to work together and collaborate for the first time with CPMD on a project, and also with the Sihasin committee to really orchestrate,” said Damon to the Times. “We put a lot of man hours into this.”


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Categories: Politics

About Author

Arlyssa Becenti

Arlyssa Becenti reports on Navajo Nation Council, Business, Fort Defiance Agency, New Mexico State politics and Art/fashion. Her clans are Nát'oh dine'é Táchii'nii, Bit'ahnii, Kin łichii'nii, Kiyaa'áanii. She’s originally from Fort Defiance and has a degree in English Literature from Arizona State University. Before working for the Navajo Times she was a reporter for the Gallup Independent. She can be reached at abecenti@navajotimes.com.