A request for a reduced license fee for West Kootenay EcoSociety’s Wednesday market was denied by city council.
The request was part of a motion before council at a meeting earlier this month.
“What had happened was last year the amount that they paid for license to occupy had doubled and that had caused them some problems,” said Councillor Candace Batycki. “But it was too late then to do anything. This year when they put in their request they asked that it be lowered.”
Batycki said the motion put before council by city staff didn’t reflect the request from the EcoSociety so she presented a motion that the fee be changed from $180 to $120.
“That’s the number that they paid last year and that they paid this year and again it’s based on the cost of parking doubled and the forgone revenue lost from parking has also doubled,” she said.
“It makes sense that way, but I was arguing from the point of view of the only regular non-profit who has a license to occupy and therefore would we consider giving them a break.”
Councillor Donna Macdonald responded to Batycki’s motion suggesting that the fee remain at $180.
“I think it’s a trade-off between wanting to support the market, which I love dearly, and recognizing that there is a loss of revenue to the city and that the $180 reflected that loss of revenue and kept us whole there,” said Macdonald.
She said the increased fee also recognizes that the city assists the market in other ways that don’t necessarily get billed to the market.
Council also discussed the possibility of a deposit or bond for events like the Wednesday market that would cover some of the clean-up costs the city takes on when events don’t comply.
“I think as long as it’s not so large that it becomes prohibitive to organizers, that are usually non-profit organizations, I gather it has been staff experience that some of the promised clean up for some events hasn’t actually materialized so we end up having to have our workers do that for us,” said Macdonald.