Tribe gets money for power line improvements

Washington, D.C. (AP) May 2010

U.S Department of Agriculture-backed loans are heading to rural communities in 21 states to improve electric service delivery to more than 33,000 customers.

The Agriculture Department said the Navajo Tribal Utility Authority in Fort Defiance, Ariz., has been selected to received a $103 million loan guarantee.

The money will help pay for 600 miles of new distribution lines, 37 miles of transmission lines and make improvements to 153 miles of existing distribution lines.

The investment will serve 4,900 new current customers in Arizona, New Mexico and Utah.

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said the investment will improve local service, create jobs and expand economic opportunity in rural areas.