Pawhuska to collaborate with Osage Nation

Robert Smith

The Pawhuska City Council voted unanimously last week to join forces with the Osage Nation to begin the first phase of the process of bringing broadband Internet service to the city.

Susan Bayro, speaking on behalf of the Osage Nation, presented information to the council about the opportunity. Bayro said funds are available to the Osage Nation through the federal CARES (Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security) Act, which passed Congress in late March, to pursue the project.

Pawhuska City Attorney John Heskett said the CARES Act funds must be spent by Dec. 31. Heskett also said that Osage Nation Principal Chief Geoffrey Standing Bear views the money as a grant to benefit the community rather than as the basis for a profit center for the tribe.

“The Osage Nation cannot do this to make money,” Heskett said.

Bayro commented that the engineering work would begin on the basis of the Pawhuska City Council’s decision to participate along with the Osage Nation, and the project would be intended to benefit Pawhuska and surrounding areas.

‘It’s exciting. We will provide you guys with updates,” Bayro told Pawhuska officials.

In other Pawhuska municipal government business last week, the City Council received a report from the Constantine Arts Council about its plans for the 20-21 fiscal year. The municipal fiscal year runs from July 1 through June 30.

Brian Jeffers reported on behalf of the Constantine Arts Council that the projected reopening date for the Constantine Center is July 16, when the facility is scheduled to play host to a screening of a film titled “Rejection 2,” in which a local teen, Tre Harper, has a role.

Jeffers said the Constantine Arts Council will sponsor the presentation of the film. He also pointed out that the film has been rated “R,” so underage children will not be able to attend the free screening without an accompanying parent or adult guardian. The doors are to open at 6 p.m. July 16, and the film is to begin at 6:30 p.m.