B.C.’s oldest continuously running farmer’s market is asking for a financial break.
The Armstrong Farmer’s Market has requested that an annual fee of approximately $2,350 to cover the use of the parking lot on the IPE grounds from April 28 to Oct. 27 be waived this year and into the future.
“The annual cost of renting the grounds for our ongoing operations has become an inordinate percentage of our running expenses,” wrote Cat Majors, vice-president of the farmer’s market, in a two-page letter to council.
Majors said the organization is “finding it a great challenge to keep up with the rising costs of our operations,” and, for the first time, they are operating at a deficit.
Started in 1973, the Armstrong Farmer’s Market provides an entertaining social event for everyone every Saturday right in the heart of the city from late April to October.
It’s very existence, wrote Majors, “substantially enhances the important issue of food security in our region.”
“It simply is the essence of a ‘Shopping Locally’ experience,” added Majors.
The Armstrong Farmer’s Market pointed out that its neighbours at the Vernon Farmer’s Market pay only $1 a year for the use of the Wesbild Centre parking lot.
Unfortunately for the farmer’s market, they directed the letter to the wrong group.
“This is a matter for parks and recreation because it’s located on the IPE grounds,” explained Coun. Kelly Rowe, who sits on the city’s finance and administration committee.
The city will send the letter to parks and recreation to discuss at its next meeting, Wednesday, April 25.