The Meaford Municipal Farmer’s Market will get to use the harbour pavilion free of charge for the upcoming summer.
Meaford councillors at their regular meeting on February 23 agreed to waive the pavilion fees for the Farmer’s Market for one more season. Councillors did say that in the future the Market might be asked to pay rental fees to use the pavilion.
Farmer’s Market representative Jan Chappelle made a presentation at council’s last Committee of the Whole meeting on February 9. The Farmer’s Market made a successful return to Meaford Harbour two years ago. Chappelle said the market has grown bigger during the two years and is looking forward to its third year.
On February 23 Meaford council agreed to honour an earlier verbal agreement to waive pavilion fees for the first three years of the Farmer’s Market.
Members of council were concerned that a written agreement for the use of the pavilion does not exist. In addition, some members of council said the Market should expect to pay rental fees in the future.
"The vendors must be making a profit. Next year (the Market) will be looking at paying the fee. It’s not an outrageous amount. It’s $100," said councillor Jim McPherson.
Several members of council said they remember verbally committing to three years of no rental fees.
"I would expect us to honour that. We don’t have those details in writing and that has to change," said councillor Lynda Stephens.
Councillor Cynthia Lemon said council made a promise and can’t go back on it now.
"You don’t stunt something’s growth in mid-term," said Lemon.
Deputy Mayor Mike Traynor said the Farmer’s Market is an important part of summer in Meaford.
"It showcases our agri-businesses. It’s a tourist attraction. It has spin offs for our downtown. We know we have something here that is worthy of our support," said Traynor.