At long last, the lights are on in Westwater

At long last, the lights are on in Westwater

LDS Church donates $500K to help it happen.

(Alastair Lee Bitsóí | The Salt Lake Tribune file photo) Utah Lt. Gov. Deidre Henderson, center left, meets with Navajo Nation Council Speaker Seth Damon, center right, and other lawmakers on Wednesday, March 9, 2022, in Window Rock, Ariz.

Westwater • Renae Gene can flick a switch and now feel comfortable the lights will stay on.

“We’re so excited, so happy,” she told FOX 13 News on Friday. “Some of us are still getting used to it.”

At long last, dedicated electricity has come to Westwater in southern Utah. It has taken years of pushing by community residents and deals brokered by Utah and Navajo tribal leaders to make it happen.

FOX 13 News first met Gene when she hosted political leaders on her front yard. She was among many who have been pushing for water and electricity in the Navajo community located just outside Blanding. Lt. Gov. Deidre Henderson brought members of the Utah Legislature to Westwater and Gene showed them how she lived: She trucks in water for her and her neighbors and relied on a solar panel and generators to power her home.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints kicked in $500,000 toward the project. “We are just one of the many donors,” apostle Dieter F. Uchtdorf said.

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This article is published through the Utah News Collaborative, a partnership of news organizations in Utah that aim to inform readers across the state.

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