Enderby denies O’Keefe funding

O’Keefe Ranch won’t be rounding up any dollars from Enderby taxpayers.

O’Keefe Ranch won’t be rounding up any dollars from Enderby taxpayers.

Council will not provide a $1,000 grant to the historic site, which is located in Spallumcheen and owned by the City of Vernon.

“Why would we fund something in Spallumcheen when they’re not funding the museum in Enderby?” said Coun. Earl Shipmaker.

Presently, the City of Enderby supports its museum, and Shipmaker insists other valley facilities aren’t a priority.

“If there was regional funding (for all museums), we would consider it but we’re not going to pick one place or item,” he said.

Shipmaker also questions what impact O’Keefe Ranch has on his community.

“There’s no connection between the ranch and Enderby. There’s the same connection as the Enderby Museum to Vernon,” he said.

Turning down the grant was unanimous among council.

“There are items like that all over the Okanagan and they can’t all be funded because there’s not enough money,” said Mayor Dee Wejr.

In a letter to Enderby council, O’Keefe Ranch officials state they are striving for sustainability and there will be 10 RV spaces to increase revenue.

“We have been concentrating more on bringing our local residents to the ranch to experience a trip back into history, and are continuing that effort in 2011,” said Catherine Lord, general manager.

“Local residents attending our events were from all areas of the North Okanagan. Our total attendance in 2010 was more than 16,000.”

In January, the City of Vernon provided a $138,000 operating grant to the ranch, while Spallumcheen is moving ahead with $10,000 this year.

A request for funding has been shot down by both Armstrong and Lumby.

Vernon Morning Star

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