Farmers market harvests upset

The Coldstream Farmers Market runs Wednesdays from 2:30 to 6 p.m. at Cenotaph Park.

A new market season is cropping up for Coldstream farmers, but it is harvesting some concerns from politicians.

The Coldstream Farmers Market runs Wednesdays from 2:30 to 6 p.m. at Cenotaph Park.

In its request to use the park, the market has again been advised that fee waivers can be provided for non-profit groups, which it is not.

“There is an expectation that it be given for free,” said Trevor Seibel, Coldstream’s chief administrative officer.

“They don’t want to pay for anything.”

Coun. Peter McClean wants the issue settled.

“Over the years, this issue with the farmers market keeps coming up,” he said.

“It’s a simple group that should be able to function without having to come back year after year. Or the group needs to step up because they’ve been told numerous times to become a society.”

Market organizer Anita Fletcher says no one has come forward interested in setting up or managing the market as a society.

“I personally have passionately invested five years of volunteer time, etc. and feel it is important to share the  bounty with the extended farming  community,” said Fletcher.

“We have always run as a non-profit and continue to do so in order to benefit the vendors.”

Like anyone, the market can use Cenotaph Park without renting it, but it runs the risk of the space being occupied by others. Fletcher says the vendors do not intend to take over the park and welcome the community to share the space.

“We will continue to share this space with the community,” said Fletcher. “We never intended to  have sole or ‘exclusive’ use of the space nor to reserve it for such.”

The district is bringing forward a rate schedule because there currently isn’t one for Cenotaph Park in place.

 

Vernon Morning Star

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