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City votes to raise farmers' market rates

July 16, 1998|By JULIE E. GREENE

Hagerstown City Council members decided Tuesday to raise stall rates at the Farmers' Market to help pay for increasing operating costs.

The cost of utilities and building maintenance has risen, said Karen Giffin, city spokeswoman. Rates were last raised two years ago, she said.

The rate increase is effective Aug. 1, Giffin said.

Weekly rates for a 3-foot stall will go from $5 to $8 and for a 6-foot stall from $10 to $15, according to a memo from Giffin to City Administrator Bruce Zimmerman.

Annual rates for a 3-foot stall will increase from $48 to $72 and for a 6-foot stall from $84 to $120.

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The council does not need to vote formally on the rate increases, Giffin said.

The city is subsidizing the farmers' market at a cost of $15,000 to $20,000 a year, said Al Martin, city finance director.

"This is like the golf course. We're not trying to make money at the market house, nor at the golf course," said Councilman J. Wallace McClure.

Councilman Alfred W. Boyer said city officials must look for ways to reduce operating costs. He said it seems as if city officials are on a "rampage with increasing rates, fees and taxes."

Mayor Robert E. Bruchey II said he wanted city officials to consider merging two part-time jobs - market master and events coordinator - into one full-time job.

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