With the annual Inlonshka dances now over, the Pawhuska Indian Village Committee is open to ideas and suggestions for features in a new Wakon Iron Community Building now in the planning stage.
Marjorie Williams, village committee chairwoman, said the $250,000 appropriation bill (ONCA 19-39) to fund the architectural design of a new community building passed during the June special session of the Sixth ON Congress.
During the July 15 village community meeting, Williams told residents: “If you guys have any ideas of what you would like to see in the new Wakon Iron (building), please let us know because we’re still in the planning phase.”
Thus far, Williams said wishlist feedback she’s heard from the public includes: a desire to have showers in the restrooms, more storage areas, a walk-in freezer and washer/ dryer facilities.
“Do you see any room for (new building) improvement? Please let us know,” Williams told attendees in the dimly-lit building, which had several fluorescent light bulbs out that evening. “We are waiting for electricians to come in and fix our lights, but we’re not wanting to invest too much more (repair/ maintenance costs) in this building if we’re going to be getting a new one soon.”
A timeline on the design process was not immediately known. The architectural design work for a new community building will be subject to the Nation’s competitive bidding act.
In other community updates, Williams reminded attendees the community trash dumpster next to Wakon Iron building is for residential use only and larger objects including lumber, drywall, painting supplies and appliances are not allowed in the dumpsters because the company hired to collect village trash is not able to haul those objects off.
The discussion on trash also served as a reminder to residents to call either the village committee members or police to report illegal dumping, which has been a problem in the village.
Fellow Village Committee Member Kathryn Redcorn said there are also reports of an individual riding a motorcycle around the dance arbor. “If you see anybody doing that, please feel free to call our office so we can call the police,” Redcorn said.
Williams said she, along with village work crew members have also seen instances of a man riding a motorcycle in the arbor. “Osage Nation police has talked to (the non-village resident motorcyclist) to let him know ‘don’t be doing that anymore,’” Williams said.
In the village’s newly dedicated Wakon Iron Park west of the community building, additional improvements and features are planned, Williams said. “We’re still working on getting more benches out there, one tree needs to be replaced, we’ve ordered some more swings and the age limit on this playground is 12 and under,” she said as a reminder.
Also that night, the Village Committee asked the residents for a vote on whether Wakon Iron Park should have a fence after hearing residential feedback in both support and opposition of building a park fence.
During a prior community meeting, former Village Committee Chairwoman and current Osage Congresswoman Paula Stabler asked the committee to consider the fence idea to help deter stray dogs from bothering children at the playground.
Redcorn said she opposed the expense of building a fence because residents should keep their dogs in their yards or tie them up. The community vote on whether to build a park fence was conducted by a show of raised hands. Four residents raised hands in support of the fence and nine voted against the fence.
Williams noted the next village election is scheduled Oct. 21 with all five seats opening for two-year terms. The ON Election Board will be contacted to assist in the election as it’s done in the recent village elections and this year’s village election will run one night versus two nights in past elections, she said. That evening, the residents will nominate candidates and the residents will vote for the next five committee members with the Election Board counting the votes and announcing the results.