Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Upset at historic ranch

By Kate Bouey - CASTANET Jun 15, 2016 / 5:00 am
The man who runs Historic O'Keefe Ranch is disappointed by Vernon council's decision to extend a $150,000 grant for only one more year before it is drastically reduced. General manager Glen Taylor had asked council to rethink a 2013 decision to slash funding to ranch. “We'd like to see the funding carry on at that level,” Taylor said. “It's not like we're making a profit.” Taylor said that 2013 decision had already hurt the ranch in other ways. “We had a grant application turned down because the province was saying 'if the owners of the property (City of Vernon) are not responsible, why should we be?' “It is important we have support shown from the city because that speaks to other grant applications.” Both Mayor Akbal Mund and Coun. Juliette Cunningham complained financial reports from the ranch had not been seen for some time. Taylor said those records are public, pointing out that Coun. Dalvir Nahal sits on the board of directors and could have supplied them to council at any time. Mund also said the ranch made a $40,000 profit in 2014, stating it was “irresponsible” of council to give money to a society making a profit. “It all goes back into the ranch. We are a not-for-profit,” said Taylor. “We have 50 acres and 20 buildings and all are in need of repairs and upkeep. “There is no heritage site across North America that is self sufficient. All of them need subsidies.” The final $150,000 grant will be for the ranch's 2017 budget. “The good news is we're not losing funding in our 150th year. We are planning for 2017 and the last thing we want is $150,000 less to put on events.”

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