Friends of the Farmers Market submit initiative petitions

May 12, 2014 5:04 PM

The Friends of the Farmers Market ended their initiative petition drive this afternoon when representatives submitted the petitions to the County Clerk’s Office.

The group must have 4,750 signatures of registered City of Chico voters in order to qualify the initiative for the November 4, 2014 ballot, today they said over 9,000 signatures were collected.

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 initiative raises 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.

“The Chico Downtown Farmers’ Market has thrived at 2nd and Wall Street for 21 years”, said Friends of the Farmers Market spokesperson Cheryl King in March. “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”.

The signatures will now be verified, the petitions will go to the city for an overview then to the county for final verification.


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