Published December 19, 2017
FARMINGTON, NEW MEXICO – Navajo Transitional Energy Company continued their annual tradition of helping community-based projects by contributing a total of $200,000 to 33 projects from nonprofit organizations, including projects from Navajo Nation chapters.
“We are happy to support these projects. Each one of them contributes goods or services that have great value in their community and we recognize that value. We hope our contributions will make long lasting impacts on the communities they serve,” said Melissa Kelly, community relations coordinator for NTEC.
The money was distributed to representatives of each project during an award luncheon in Farmington, N.M. on Thursday, Dec. 14. More than 60 people attended the luncheon. Some of the projects funded this year included a hiking trail for Tsa’ah Bii Kin Chapter in northern Arizona, a FM broadcasting station at Rough Rock Community School in Arizona, a solar lighted project for Beclabito Chapter in New Mexico, and funding for a second phase of a tire recycling business in Cornfields, Arizona.
Other projects included Don’t Meth with Us, an anti-Meth program based in San Juan County, Economic Council of Helping Others (ECHO), a food bank for people in need in San Juan County, and the Healing Circle Drop In Center, a counseling center in Shiprock, New Mexico.
“We try to look at what each project or organization brings to each of their communities. On the Navajo Reservation, there is great need for infrastructure and economic development projects. Meanwhile, some organizations are dedicated to helping people and need funding to ensure their services continue,” Kelly said.
Fifty-four projects applied to the Community Benefit Fund and projects were funded in key areas such as energy, education, economic development and environmental.
“The competition was tough and we are thankful to the review team which made some hard choices regarding which projects will be funded,” Kelly said. The projects were scored by a committee that consisted of staff from NTEC and Bisti Fuels,a subsidiary of The North American Coal Corporation and Navajo Mine operator.
Projects were evaluated based on a number of different criteria including demographics served, location, and overall strength of the project.
“We are owned by the Navajo Nation so it’s important that we fund projects that help Navajo people directly and indirectly,” Kelly said.
NTEC held a workshop in August that outlined the application process and factors in scoring the projects.
“We provided the communities and nonprofit organizations information about the application process and the types of projects that can be selected. We also wanted to let them know we were there to help them with their applications,” Kelly said.
The application period opened in September and continued through the end of October.
“We expect to continue our Community Benefit Fund next year and hope that we receive more projects to review. Our goal is to support the Navajo and surrounding communities while setting an example for others to follow,” Steve Grey, Governmental and External Affairs Director for NTEC, said.
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