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Farmers market licensing fees being reviewed by city council

The Sunnyside City Council Monday was asked by Bill Flower to reconsider farmers market licensing fees.

He was recently informed he needed to pay a $125 business fee for the once-weekly event, which serves the community.

Flower said the farmers market has yet to be profitable, but he sees it as a community service rather than a business.

Most of the customers at the market are able to purchase fresh produce with WIC vouchers and senior services coupons. The vendors at the market represent hobby farms or are home gardeners.

Flower said the season for the market is short-lived. It is open from the end of June each Wednesday from 4 to 7 p.m. to the first of October.

City Attorney Scott Beyer said the city council would have to amend the city ordinance in regard to the farmers market fee.

Councilman Don Vlieger said he believes an amendment might be workable.

Councilwoman Theresa Hancock questioned whether other produce stands accept the vouchers and coupons customers of the farmers market redeem.

City Manager Mark Gervasi said he and city staff will review the city ordinance and provide a recommendation for council at the Monday, Aug. 8, meeting.

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