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Friday — May 28, 2004

Arts and Entertainment

Farmers' Market to open in new Hailey location

Schedule tentative until permit issue resolved

Express Staff Writer

The opening date for the Hailey Farmers’ Market is Thursday, June 3. This year the market is moving from its previous location on Croy and River streets to the city parking lot at Bullion and River streets.

The market will begin its 11th season on shaky ground, said Market Manager Mark Cook. There will be a fee increase for vendors. Instead of the current $60 seasonal fee, the new season fee will be a minimum of $300 for the season plus 5 percent commission on sales.

"I have no choice but to pass (the fee) imposed by the city on to Farmers’ Market vendors," Cook said. "Even then, I don’t know if the Hailey Farmers’ Market will meet expenses unless we get a lot of vendors willing to pay the price."

The city is in the midst of establishing new special event permits, which replace previous vendor regulations repealed last fall.

The city is no longer issuing permits for individual vendors. Vendors wishing to do business in the city must be attached to a special event or a "bricks and mortar" business.

No permits will be issued until new fees are set in June.

But, working within the spirit of the new rules, the city made an exception for the Farmers’ Market. An interim arrangement will help farmers get to market with the first harvest of the season for opening date.

Since the Farmers’ Market is not a not-for-profit organization, the city decided to charge a special event fee of $100 per week.

Council members view the fee as a bargain compared to other cities and only fair given that future special event applicants will also have to pay fees.

The jump will be a stretch for farmers coming to Hailey, Cook said. Markets in other cities can pay higher fees because they draw more vendors. Cook estimated that it would take about 25 vendors—spreading out the cost of the permit—to make the market a viable option by.

Despite the challenges, Cook said the Hailey Farmers’ Market would endeavor to continue. This year the Farmers’ Market will be held every Thursday, with extended hours from 2 to 7 p.m.


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