Market dodges a bullet

Chico Certified Farmers Market won’t face a fee increase—for now

The city of Chico Finance Committee has scrapped a plan to levy a new fee on the Chico Certified Farmers’ Market for its Saturday market at Second and Wall streets.

Currently, CCFM pays a $144 franchise fee, which goes to the Downtown Chico Business Association. Committee members envisioned a new fee that would be commensurate with what is charged to vendors who use the City Plaza or other city park facilities—a $5.50-per-vendor fee. The figure they came up with based on the market’s average of 50 weekly vendors was $13,750. It would go into the general fund.

Vendors argued the proposed fee was exorbitant, especially since they clean up the lot themselves and the site is a bare space without amenities such as restrooms.

After close to two hours of discussion, the committee—City Councilmembers Mary Flynn, Jim Walker and Larry Wahl—voted unanimously against a fee increase with the caveat that discussions about the market, including its location, will continue at the City Council level.