By Ann McCreary
Twisp Town Council members chose to table action on a request for additional funding by Okanogan County Transportation and Nutrition (OCTN) last week, saying they needed more information to justify the request.
Mayor Soo Ing-Moody said OCTN has stated it needs an additional $30,000 to continue services through the year, and the organization has been turning to local communities to help make up the shortfall.
OCTN, which provides bus rides and meals to local residents, has experienced funding cuts and is appealing to towns and cities in the county to contribute “to maintain our current level of services,” said Leanne Whitener, executive director.
“If we are not successful in raising additional funds we will have to start making cuts in services, which would place the seniors we serve at risk nutritionally,” Whitener said in her letter.
Twisp allocates $2,000 annually to OCTN, council members noted. A few weeks ago, the Winthrop Town Council turned down OCTN’s request for additional funding because of concerns about the town’s tight finances.
Twisp officials shared the same concern. “Do we have additional funds in our budget, three-quarters through the year?” Ing-Moody said.
“If we had the money, I would support giving the help,” said council member Clint Estes. OCTN is a private nonprofit organization that provides meals at senior centers and delivers meals to home-bound seniors. Council members indicated they would consider more information if it was provided by OCTN, but found the one-page letter they received inadequate.
“If someone were here to explain and answer questions … it would have been really helpful,” said Estes.