Board goes easy on Friday market

Adrienne Lamb
Adrienne Lamb
Alexandra's Friday food and produce market will be charged a special rate to  keep operating but a new rate for all markets is to be considered next year.

The weekly market, which began in March 2016, had been charged the non-commercial rate of $37 a week.

But when some businesses complained it was taking  business away from them,  the Vincent Community Board (VCB) decided to charge the market the standard commercial rate, with a 40% discount, from July 1 next year.

That would have raised  the charge to $143 a week.

The Saturday Pioneer Park markets also receive a 40% discount on the commercial rate.

Friday market organiser Adrienne Lamb asked the VCB at its meeting on Tuesday to consider keeping her on  the non-commercial rate, as advertising costs  meant it only returned a profit of $132 a year and any higher charges could threaten its viability.

Central Otago District Council parks team leader Ian Mann had recommended the charge remain  $143, as per the council’s set fees and charges schedule, but community board members voted instead to apply a 70% discount on the commercial rate, which would  mean a weekly charge of $42.90.

The VCB also decided to investigate a new rate for all markets as part of a planned review of  council  fees and charges.

Ms Lamb said any surplus funds from the Friday food and produce market would be given  back to local community groups, as was the case with the Saturday summer market.

A report to the VCB about the Saturday markets said $6000 was given  to community groups from the 2016-17 markets,  taking  the total amount given from the markets since 2007 to $43,534.

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