Mar 6, 2014 1:59 PM
Supporters of the Saturday Downtown Farmers’ Market have met legal requirements and will launch their petition drive to keep the farmers’ market at 2nd and Wall Street this Saturday.
“The Chico Downtown Farmers’ Market has thrived at 2nd and Wall Street for 21 years”, said Friends of the Farmers Market spokesperson Cheryl King. “The initiative will give the market the stability to pay for improvements and remove the year to year uncertainty that they have endured for years”.
Over the last few years, those associated with the Saturday Farmers’ Market and the City of Chico have been in a tug-of-war over the location of the market. The City recently declined to renew the market’s lease, leaving the future location up in the air once the market’s current lease expires on December 1, 2014.
The Friends of the Farmers’ Market will need to collect 4,500 signatures of registered City of Chico voters in order to qualify the initiative for the November 4, 2014 ballot.
The initiative, if qualified in time for the November 4 ballot, will raise the question of the market’s renewal every eight years instead of every other year. After eight years, the question of renewal will be placed upon the voters, not the city. The initiative will also reportedly pay for semi-permanent restrooms, grant market officials more control over the lot to control traffic, and increase vendor fees which will be paid to the City.