(L-R) Cherokee Nation Secretary of State Chuck Hoskin Jr. and Tribal Councilors Mike Dobbins and Rex Jordan joined the community of Fort Gibson for a ribbon cutting on the town’s new water treatment plant.
TAHLEQUAH, Okla. — Cherokee Nation and Fort Gibson leaders gathered Tuesday for a ribbon cutting on the city’s new water treatment plant, which has up to twice the capacity of the previous facility and will provide service to nearly 5,000 residents, including 500 Native American homes.
Cherokee Nation partnered with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Muskogee County officials and Fort Gibson municipal entities to develop the project, which had a price tag of more than $8 million. The tribe contributed $928,800 in Indian Health Service funds along with $50,000 from Cherokee Nation funds for engineering.
“This project is a great example of how a Cherokee Nation partnership can benefit an entire community for decades to come,” Cherokee Nation Secretary of State Chuck Hoskin Jr. said. “I commend Cherokee Nation’s staff for working so closely with Fort Gibson leaders to ensure this project came to fruition.”
Fort Gibson’s water treatment plant serves Cherokee Nation citizens who live within the districts of Tribal Councilor Dr. Mike Dobbins, of Fort Gibson, and Tribal Councilor Rex Jordan, of Hulbert. Businesses, schools and several rural water districts are also served by the facility.
“I’m proud to see this project will help provide safe, clean water to thousands of people in and around Fort Gibson, including hundreds of Cherokee homes,” Dobbins said. “The investment in vital infrastructure also has the potential to usher in new development on the east side of Fort Gibson’s historic community. That growth would be wonderful for the community.”
Councilor Dobbins and Councilor Jordan attended Tuesday’s ceremony along with Secretary Hoskin and toured the facility to get a first-hand look at how water is treated and how modern technology improves the process.
“This new water treatment plant features state-of-the-art treatment technology and will clearly be vital to this community for years to come,” Councilor Jordan said. “It was an honor to get a first-hand look at the finished facility.”
The project included construction of five new buildings and a complete rehabilitation of the older, existing treatment facility.
“I believe Fort Gibson’s new water plant is so very important to the citizens of our town, as well as the neighboring water districts, because it ensures a better quality of water for all of us,” said Fort Gibson Mayor Myra Cookson. “I am extremely thankful for the patnership of the Cherokee Nation in this endeavor. I know a large portion of our town and surrounding areas are of Cherokee descent, my home included. It sure is nice that we all can work together for the betterment of our future – neighbors helping neighbors. Makes my heart happy.”
The new treatment plant in Fort Gibson has a maximum capacity of around 8 million gallons per day, about twice the capacity of the town’s older facility, though it is expected to average around 6 million gallons per day.
Cherokee Nation News Release
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