Market plan

Trail Incredible Farmer’s Market Plan Gets City Council’s Blessing

The Trail City Council has agreed to write a letter of support for the Incredible Farmer’s Market bid as they seek a $100,000 federal grant to upgrade the Memorial Center kitchen.

The organization needs council approval to secure funds to make improvements in hopes that increased use of the kitchen by vendors will help their businesses and increase their ability to help make more food available to those who are struggling to make ends meet.

Before gaining unanimous support, parks and recreation director Trisha Davison expressed concern about who will be able to use the food center.

“Things around access hours, how repair and maintenance of equipment would be handled, what it looks like for shared equipment or space versus exclusive equipment or space” , she said, adding that two necessary capital projects that include replacing the heating, ventilation and cooling system will be costly for the city.

“The cost, again based on other HVAC costs we have, which we think are a bit like the size, comes in at around $100,000, we also know the floor needs to be replaced and we have estimated that between $80 and -100,000,” Davison advised.

The city’s parks and recreation manager also warned council that there is a long list of capital projects that are considered each year during budget discussions.

Davison also suggested that farmers’ market officials budget an additional 15% into projects they are planning if they win the grant from Ottawa.

Councilwoman Colleen Jones felt securing federal funds for kitchen upgrades with benefits for the entire community was worth supporting.

“It’s such a win-win situation and I’m afraid we’ve come this far and if we don’t go all the way, another community will pick it up and run with it,” Jones said.

Mayor Lisa Pasin said the balance continues between supporting projects that benefit the community and impacting ratepayers and hopes more funding will be available.

“I was heartened by CAO McClure’s comments about the Columbia Basin Trust and they appear to have grants for a similar line of work,” Pasin said.

“It’s good to know that there are similar options and programs that we could tap into if we needed them,” the mayor added.

Council support for the Farmers’ Market plan for a commercial community kitchen at the arena for a four-year rent-free period comes with conditions, including a mutual use and maintenance agreement.