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Outcry kills plan to use U.S. funds for Reagan ranch

Gov. Pete Wilson's plan to use $5 million in federal funds to turn Ronald Reagan's ranch into a state park has been shelved under pressure from neighbors who fought it as a misuse of taxpayer dollars.

Under the plan, the Interior Department would grant California $5 million to buy the property, 30 miles northwest of Santa Barbara. But neighbors in the conservative area questioned why public money was being used and worried that their county taxes would end up footing the bill for upkeep."People just got furious," said Rep. Walter Capps, D-Calif., whose local office received dozens of calls. "I couldn't get through a morning run. People were stopping their cars and saying, `Please, help us on this.' "

Rep. Ralph Regula, R-Ohio, chairman of the House Interior Appropriations Subcommittee, decided not to submit the proposal this week because of all the local opposition, effectively shelving it for the year.

"We are still hopeful that the ranch can be completed," Sean Walsh, Wilson's deputy chief of staff, said Friday. He called the $5 million "a very reasonable price for a facility that will be used by Americans and folks from around the world."