Downtown Foundation to operate farmers' market

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WALLA WALLA — The Downtown Walla Walla Foundation is the new operator of the city’s farmers’ market, again.

On Wednesday night, the Walla Walla City Council approved a three-year contract with the foundation, with options to renew every year for the next five years through 2020.

The market will be known as the “Downtown Farmers Market.” It will run Saturdays and Sundays, 9 a.m.-1 p.m., the first weekend in May through the last weekend in October, the foundation said.

Under the agreement, the city will receive $500 for 2013, 3 percent of the vendor fees in 2014 and 5 percent in 2015. City Parks and Recreation Director Jim Dumont speculated that amount to be about $2,000 annually at 5 percent.

The Foundation was the only agency to submit a proposal to run a farmers market at Crawford Park, behind City Hall. The Foundation ran the market for the first 10 years of its existence.

A 12-member startup committee has been developing market rules and vendor applications and also hammering out details of the market operation.

An initial vendor meeting last week drew about 70 potential operators, the Foundation said.

A follow-up meeting has been scheduled for March 14 at 6 p.m. at Columbia Rural Electric Association’s new Walla Walla office, 2929 Melrose St. Market rules, a vendor guide and vendor applications will be available.

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