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Pittsburg Farmers' Market Now Operated by City - KOAM TV 7

Pittsburg Farmers' Market Now Operated by City

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PITTSBURG, KANSAS -

Cook's Berry Junction Farm owner Ed Cook is coming off a good year. 

"You know, in two weeks they're gonna be this tall," Cook said looking at his strawberry plants. "They're just gonna explode."

He's preparing crops to sell at the Pittsburg Farmers Market, itself, coming off a bad year. 

According to the former president of the Pittsburg Farmer's Market board, Jill Campbell, the organization was burdened with major financial issues; including several years of un-filed taxes, debt from the farmer's market pavilion, and two years of unpaid property taxes on the pavilion totaling more than $15,000.

So, the market got the city involved.

"They came to the city and asked for our help in keeping the market going in the area," Pittsburg Parks & Rec director Kim Vogel said. "It definitely is an asset to our community."

The Parks & Rec Department will oversee market operations. City manager Daron Hall said Pittsburg will likely waive any taxes on the pavilion owed to the city. Then likely ask the county to waive any taxes owed to it. 

Revenue will go towards paying off the USDA loan that paid for the pavilion. 

"I would like to see it grow," Vogel said. "The sky's the limit really with what we can do there."

The Pittsburg city commission will appoint a new 7-member board to run the farmer's market at it's meeting Tuesday. The board will have to organize the market and attract vendors before it's opening in April.

"I'd like to see the new board get more produce vendors in, do some more activities to attract crowds," Cook said. "I think if they do those things and everything works that market is gonna go sky high."

Organizers say the market will re-open sometime next month at the market pavilion off 11th and Broadway. An exact date has yet to be set.

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