Community market sits on pricey pavement

The Fireweed Community Market Society is parked on a pricey piece of property. And, until recently, it didn’t know it.

The Fireweed Community Market Society is parked on a pricey piece of property.

And, until recently, it didn’t know it.

On Monday, Whitehorse city council denied Fireweed Community Market request to stay fees for the rental of the Shipyards Park parking lot.

The group has been setting up market in the lot since 2005.

“When we first started in the parking lot we never had renting fees,” said the Fireweed Society’s treasurer Joan Norburg.

At that time, the park was still under construction and the city did not charge for the use of the parking lot.

But as construction in the park nears completion, fees and charges have been established for the rental of Shipyards and its parking lot.

Rental of the park now costs $243.40 for a full day and $121.80 for a half day.

Renting the parking lot is only slightly cheaper at $227.95 for a full day and $114.10 for a half day.

When the recommended fees were brought forward the city kept in mind that most of the renters were nonprofit groups, said Linda Rapp, manager of Parks and Recreation.

The fees will end up costing the Fireweed Community Market Society $2,053.80 for the season.

The group has no problem with paying the rental fees.

“We are using city property. We don’t expect it to be free,” said Norburg.

“It’s just too bad they didn’t give us more notice.”

The group held its annual general meeting in February and approached the city in March to request the use of the parking lot at Shipyards Park.

It was told about the fees afterwards, said Norburg.

“It’s an unexpected expense — we’ve already set up our vendors’ fees.”

The Community Market has grown in popularity over the years and offers products from Yukon farmers, as well as clothing and artwork.

The Fireweed Community Market Society also has space in the new building in Shipyards Park.

The society moved into its new office/retail space at the beginning of April and will be open Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays during this month.

Vendors are able to rent retail space to display their work and sell it.

Fireweed is renting the space along with Organic Food Yukon and the Yukon Processors Association.

The store begins its summer hours in May when it will be open from Tuesday to Saturday.

The Fireweed Community Market takes place every Thursday afternoon during the summer beginning May 15.