BLANDING, UT – Navajo Nation Vice President Myron Lizer met with Utah Lt. Gov. Deidre Henderson and other leaders in Blanding, UT to continue building on efforts to provide much-needed water and electric infrastructure for at least 27 Navajo families living in the Westwater Subdivision, located in the southeastern portion of Utah. The Westwater Subdivision, a 120-acre plot, is adjacently located west of the City of Blanding and 48 miles north of Aneth Chapter. The land was purchased by the Navajo Nation in 1986 and lacks basic infrastructure.
Members of the Utah State Senate and House of Representatives, Utah Division of Indian Affairs Director Dustin Jansen, San Juan County Commissioner Bruce Adams, City of Blanding Mayor Joe B. Lyman were also in attendance for the discussion and site visit.
“The Nez-Lizer Administration prioritized this project to get water and electrical infrastructure to the families that reside in the Westwater Subdivision through partnerships with the State of Utah,” said Vice President Lizer. “We appreciate Lt. Gov. Henderson and all of the partners for their support as we move forward. For over 35 years, the community has worked hard to get to this point. Within less than one mile away, Blanding residents enjoy running water and electricity and we are striving to make those basic necessities available to our Navajo people as well. It is a fundamental right for our Navajo citizens to receive the same services and resources.”
In July, Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez invited Lt. Gov. Henderson to visit the Westwater families and thanked her for prioritizing the project.
“We need to care for our own. Westwater residents are citizens of the state of Utah who deserve to have running water and electricity,” said Lt. Governor Henderson. “They also deserve to have political leaders who can come together to finally solve this problem. I’m grateful for the leadership of President Nez and Vice President Lizer and appreciate working with them on this issue.”
During the visit, Lt. Gov. Henderson highlighted the Utah State Legislature’s support and approval of $500,000 for the project. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints also committed $500,000, and the City of Blanding, Utah Trust Fund, and the Navajo Nation will make future contributions.
“I am so grateful to see our leaders of the Navajo Nation, San Juan County, City of Blanding, Utah State Legislature, and Lt. Governor Henderson working together,” said Renea Gene, a Westwater resident. “For many years, politics, jurisdiction issues, and lack of funding have halted our community’s growth and development. As a mother, I want my children and grandchildren to experience the luxury of a warm shower and to charge their laptops and tablets for school. My father, who has passed, worked hard to provide for our family and community. He would’ve been happy to see this day.”
Utah State Legislators who attended the meeting included: State Sens. Derrin R. Owens; Don L. Ipson; Jerry W. Stevenson; Michael K. McKell; David P. Hinkins; and Utah State Representatives Stewart Barlow, Timothy Hawkes, Scott Chew, Val Peterson, and Phil Lyman.
“We appreciate the partnership of Lt. Gov. Henderson, Director Jansen, Utah State Legislature, City of Blanding, and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. It will take all of us working together to deliver water and power to the Westwater Subdivision to improve their quality of life and provide much-needed relief,” added Vice President Lizer.