The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

March 19, 2011

‘Pride in their community’

Waukomis getting beauty treatment

By Joe Malan, Staff Writer
Enid News and Eagle

WAUKOMIS — George Milacek was on the Waukomis city board back in the late-70s and early-80s. Now he’s back, and he wants to beautify his town.

“My purpose is to get the town cleaned up,” Milacek said.

Over the past year or so, Waukomis has developed several projects to improve the aesthetic look of the town of 1,286 residents.

One of those projects was constructing a new pavilion in the town park. Milacek’s wife, Louise, and Avis Gragg started a group to build the new pavilion and collected about $50,000 toward the project.

Other aesthetic improvements made to the park included new sidewalks and grass.

Another beautification project is a new pavilion under construction in the Waukomis cemetery.

Waukomis resident Bill Fluman said the town is building a $30,000 pavilion in the north part of the cemetery. Most work on the pavilion is expected to be finished by Memorial Day.

Construction workers are going to put down a concrete pad, onto which the 25-foot by 35-foot pavilion will be built.

The pavilion will allow cemetery officials to hold services indoors, an important consideration, especially during inclement weather.

“It’ll hold probably 30 to 35 people inside,” Fluman said.

Those outside can look in, thanks to several sliding glass windows in the design.

Fluman said about 100 residents donated toward the pavilion.

One of the newest additions to Waukomis is a 10-ton sign made of limestone the town has set up on the north end of U.S. 81 in the view of those heading south into town.

The rock is rather unusual because it looks like the state of Oklahoma.

It was set up at the end of October by members of Waukomis FFA.

Since then, town officials have engraved a welcome message on the sign and have had it sandblasted.

Waukomis teacher Tim Vanover said Waukomis FFA was given $2,500 in donations to make any improvements to the sign that they choose.

“We’ll put down some white rock, maybe some driftwood or metal art,” Vanover said.

Also, Waukomis FFA hopes to install solar lighting as a relatively cheap way to keep the sign illuminated at night.

Finally, the group hopes to chip off a part of the rock to take it in to a lab and get it aged.

The rock is covered in fossils, Vanover said.

Once that is done, they will install a plaque on the other side of the sign that will tell about its age and where it came from.

In addition to the sign, as well as park and cemetery improvements, Milacek hopes to see more additions in the near future.

“I’d like to stress that people should have pride in their community,” he said.