Township funds O'Keefe

A stellar 2013 season has the Township of Spallumcheen opening its wallet again to help O’Keefe Ranch.

Township council voted unanimously in favour of a recommendation to award a $6,000 grant-in-aid in 2014 to the ranch.

“The ranch had a really exciting year last year, and the grant-in-aid reflects that good year,” said Coun. Andrew Casson, council’s representative to the ranch. “This reflects the value we see in the ranch.”

Casson said 2013 figures show close to 18,000 visitors stopped off at the popular attraction, an increase from 13,000 guests in 2012.

Those numbers, said Casson, do not include the visitors to the hugely popular and successful corn maze, which had 7,600 guests in 2013.

The $6,000 is part of $14,350 in grants-in-aid requests recommended to be included in the township’s 2014 budget.

Also recommended for approval were $2,500 grants to the Caravan Farm Theatre and Armstrong and District Curling Club; $2,000 to the Armstrong Spallumcheen Museum and Archive Society; $750 to the Armstrong Spallumcheen Fire Department; $500 to the Armstrong Spallumcheen Art Council Society; and $100 to the Armstrong  Spallumcheen Environmental Trust.

A grant-in-aid request for $1,468 from the Restorative Justice Society – North Okanagan was voted to be added as a 2014 budget line item.

Council also approved recommendations to support fees for services to the Armstrong Spallumcheen Museum and Arts Society ($9,750) and Armstrong Spallumcheen Chamber of Commerce ($8,000).

It was also recommended to council that it maintain the collection of taxation from farms (Class 9) below 10 per cent of the total collection.

“This is to encourage a level of economic activity in the agricultural land base in accordance with the community goals and objectives in our official community plan bylaw,” said Coun. Christine Fraser.


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