Ottawa urged to fund ranch

Armstrong council believes the federal government needs to chip in funds to help a local historical site.

Armstrong council believes the federal government needs to chip in funds to help a local historical site.

Responding to a request for $1,500 support from O’Keefe Ranch, council passed on providing the funds.

Instead, the city passed a motion to have the ranch included in the national heritage registry.

“You can’t go around any corner in eastern Canada without some kind of federal or provincial heritage thing that’s been funded by federal or provincial governments out there,” said Coun. John Trainor, who proposed the motion, which passed unanimously.

“O’Keefe Ranch shouldn’t be something that’s always scrounging for nickels and dimes. It should be funded federally.”

The motion will be copied and sent to Okanagan-Shuswap MP Colin Mayes, federal heritage minister James Moore and the Southern Interior Local Government Association (SILGA) for its consideration.

Council was responding to a request from the ranch seeking financial support for its continued operation.

O’Keefe Ranch had sought a $184,500 operating grant from its owner, the City of Vernon, in January, but Vernon council only approved $138,000. It will also cover $12,000 in insurance.

In a two-page letter to Armstrong council, ranch general manager Catherine Lord said the historical site drew total attendance of more than 16,000 in 2010, and the focus continues to be on increased attendance and other matters of sustainability.

The Township of Spallumcheen, where the ranch is located, contributes $10,000 annually towards O’Keefe Ranch.

And the township’s finance committee has recommended another $10,000 be considered in this year’s budget.

Vernon Morning Star

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