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South Pasadena Chamber of Commerce Asks City to Pay For Farmers Market Toilets

By Eric Licas
The Review

The South Pasadena Chamber of Commerce requested at the City Council meeting on Feb. 7 that the city cover the cost of portable toilets at the Farmers Market.
Farmers Market customers had been allowed to use the restrooms at the nearby Meridian Iron Works Museum, but that arrangement ended in July. Since then, the Chamber has been renting port-a-potties at a cost of $410 per week, which comes out to roughly $18,000 annually.
The Chamber asked Council to offset that cost by discounting the portion of money generated by the Farmers Market that is paid to South Pasadena. The Chamber currently gives 7% of the event’s proceeds to the city, in addition to a $150 weekly fee for using the space on Meridian.
Councilwoman Janet Braun noted that the Farmers Market generated a share of about $24,000 given by the city in the previous fiscal year. If the city had been footing the bill for toilet rentals at that time, it would have only received $6,000.
“I’m not saying we’re not getting value because you’re doing a great job but I think it presents a lot of questions,” Braun said.
Meanwhile, Mayor Evelyn Zneimer asked if it was possible for the chamber to go to its members or find other alternative means for funding. She and Braun wanted to see more detailed information about the market’s financials before deciding, and so the matter was continued to Council’s March 7 meeting for later discussion.
“I really have no questions about the Chamber’s management of the Farmers Market,” Zneimer said. “It benefits the whole community and we thank you for it, but we do have a fiduciary obligation to our residents.”

First published in the February 16 print issue of the South Pasadena Review.

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