Mar­ket com­par­isons ‘un­fair’

Central Otago Mirror - - YOUR LOCAL NEWS - JO MCKEN­ZIE-MCLEAN

An Alexan­dra food and pro­duce mar­ket would not sur­vive if the coun­cil en­forced a commercial rate for stall­hold­ers to use a park to sell pro­duce, the mar­ket man­ager says.

Alexan­dra Fri­day Food and Pro­duce Mar­ket man­ager Adrienne Lamb ap­pealed to the Vin­cent Com­mu­nity Board that a pro­posed commercial rate of $143 per day would be un­vi­able and the mar­ket would close. The cur­rent agree­ment is $37 per mar­ket.

The board re­jected a rec­om­men­da­tion from Parks team leader Ian Mann who pro­posed they of­fer a 40 per cent dis­count off the commercial hire rate of $143 per day for Pi­o­neer Park for the 2017-18 fi­nan­cial year.

That fee would be con­sis­tent with the Satur­day mar­ket. He also rec­om­mended a re­view of the fees and charges for the mar­ket hire of Pi­o­neer Park as part of the Long Term Plan. In­stead, the board put for­ward a mo­tion to dis­count the commercial rate by 70 per cent.

Lamb said even with the 40 per cent dis­count, long-term the fi­nan­cial cost could still close the mar­ket which runs all year round.

‘‘In the win­ter it will strug­gle. That is the re­al­ity.’’

Mann said he sup­ported parks be­ing used but the coun­cil needed to be con­sis­tent.

‘‘It is clearly a commercial ac­tiv­ity...all hire feeds go into the cost cen­tre that off­sets main­te­nance costs of the park...fees help us keep rates down.’’

Board mem­ber and coun­cil­lor Mal­colm To­pliss said the Fri­day mar­ket and Satur­day mar­ket could not be ‘‘fairly’’ com­pared.

‘‘The Fri­day mar­ket is most of the year and only has about six to eight stalls so they use a much smaller area and you have val­ued that some­how at $143. This sug­ges­tion of a 40 per cent dis­count - I don’t see any fair com­par­i­son be­tween the Satur­day mar­ket and the Fri­day mar­ket. I would sug­gest there needs to be a rate for win­ter and a rate for sum­mer for a start...I can­not see the logic in what you are sug­gest­ing... This is a qual­ity mar­ket and I don’t want to see it lost. I don’t want to see it fall over be­cause we have pushed it up.’’

Mann said keep­ing the sta­tus quo of $37 per mar­ket was ‘‘not an op­tion’’ as that was a rate for non­com­mer­i­cal ac­tiv­i­ties, but the board could con­sider a higher dis­count.

Board mem­ber Rus­sell Gar­butt put for­ward a mo­tion to dis­count the rate by 70 per cent, which was adopted.

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