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Cherokee Nation funding construction of new water tower in rural eastern Oklahoma town

Four men sit at a table bearing the Cherokee Nation seal. Nine men stand behind them. Principal Chief Chuck Hoskin Jr. signs a piece of paper as everyone looks on, smiling.

Front row (from left):Tribal Councilor Daryl Legg, Principal Chief Chuck Hoskin Jr., Roland Town Manager Monty Lenington and Deputy Chief Bryan Warner. 

Back row: Roland Chamber of Commerce Vice President Dave Richards, Roland Chamber of Commerce President Dale Phelps, Roland Town Attorney Jeff Edwards, Roland Vice Mayor Bill Lee, Roland Mayor Randy Hall, Roland City Councilor Blake Rainwater and Roland City Councilor Roger Johnson.
Cherokee Nation
Principal Chief Chuck Hoskin Jr. and other Cherokee Nation officials met with Roland government personnel to sign a Memorandum of Understanding about the funds.

The Cherokee Nation is using COVID-19 relief funds to build a new water tower in the town of Roland, which sits on the tribe’s land near the Arkansas border.

The town’s existing tower has weathered more than two decades of storms and floods. The new tower will increase Roland’s water supply to meet growing demands. It will also allow the town to drain and repair its older tower without disrupting residents’ access to water.

“The opportunity to help a community on something that I think is going to make a generational impact is something we are always looking for,” Principal Chief Chuck Hoskin Jr. said in a press release.

The Cherokee Nation provided $500,000 for the project as part of the tribe’s Respond, Recover and Rebuild Plan. According to the plan’s website, the Cherokee Nation has allotted $22 million for public health infrastructure projects.

Town Manager Monty Lennington said this isn’t the first time the Cherokee Nation has provided assistance with infrastructure projects in Roland, which is home to one of the tribe’s ten casinos.

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Graycen Wheeler is a reporter covering water issues at KOSU as a corps member with Report for America.
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