By Conrad Dudderar
More than 20 volunteers converged on a vacant service station to help spruce up Yukon Main Street while encouraging economic development.
Volunteers worked Thursday afternoon, Sept. 22 and Saturday morning, Sept. 24 to repaint the former Ross Garage service station, 900 W Main.
The two-day effort was part of Yukon 66 Main Street’s second annual paint beautification project.
“We have had so many volunteers from all walks of life who have come together to beautify our downtown Main Street,” said Shelli Selby, Yukon Main Street’s Design Point chair.
“We’ve had people stop to tell us, ‘That looks awesome … what a difference that makes’.”
A 2022 Paint Oklahoma Beautiful grant was awarded to paint the exterior. The property owner, Schulte Oil of El Reno, gave permission to having the old service station and a storage building painted tan.
Buoyed by nice weather, volunteers finished most of the outside of the main service station by late Thursday afternoon.
Another volunteer crew showed up about 8 a.m. Saturday and spent two hours repainting the storage building while “touching up” some of the service station as well.
Eight people volunteered their time Thursday afternoon while 13 others finished up the “adopt-a-property” paint project Saturday morning. The manpower included Yukon Rotary Club members, local business owners, City of Yukon personnel (on their “off” time), and students.
“We even had a homeless person who stopped and helped us,” said Selby, Yukon’s mayor. “It’s everybody coming together with a sense of ‘let’s keep Oklahoma – specifically Yukon – beautiful’.”
The grant, through Keep Oklahoma Beautiful, provided all the paint, brushes, rollers, and mat tape.
Repainting the vacant Ross Garage site had made it more attractive to a potential new business occupant.
“Our goal is for a viable business to come in both buildings,” Selby added. “That will help bring economic development to Yukon.
“Abandoned buildings are not good. Hopefully, this will make Main Street sparkle a little more.”
Yukon’s first Paint Oklahoma Beautiful effort was in September 2021 at the old DX gas station, 545 W Main.
That two-day project also was funded with a grant through Keep Oklahoma Beautiful and HIS Paint. The building’s exterior was painted light green with a tan trim.
After the outside was painted for the 2021 Paint Oklahoma Beautiful project, interior improvements were completed in leased retail and office spaces.
The building at 545 W Main now houses two businesses.
The first Yukon Main Street painting project is a finalist for a Non-Profit Service Award to be presented Friday, Nov. 18 during Keep Oklahoma Beautiful’s Environmental Excellence Celebration at the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City.
The winning project will be highlighted at the banquet.
Yukon Main Street also is a finalist in two other categories, Affiliate of the Year Award and OG&E Grant Innovation Award (for the Great American Cleanup).