Dear Loveland Magazine Readers,
I have been following with great interest all of the interviews and comments regarding the Loveland Farmers’ Market.
First, I want to be perfectly clear that no one from the city wants to get rid of the market nor has anyone implied that the market should not exist. There is so much false information circulating regarding the market, that it is important to set the record straight.
The City Manager, Dave Kennedy, has told the owner of the business that the market can no longer be located at Jackson Square because of the traffic congestion. As we all know [pull_quote_left]I’d like to ask a few questions related to the finances and operation of the Loveland Farmers Market[/pull_quote_left]historic downtown has an infrastructure problem. The City Manager has offered several alternative locations for the market and hopefully Dave and the owner of the market can find a solution that is amicable to both.
I believe Mr. Kennedy’s decision was thoughtful and well reasoned. It is his job as City Manager to do what he feels is best for the community as a whole. He has clearly stated that the downtown area can’t handle the traffic congestion, particularly with the closing of Branch Hill Guinea Rd again this spring and summer.
[pull_quote_right]I believe every one of these questions merits an answer and discussion. [/pull_quote_right]The location of the market is not a City Council decision. It is also not a political issue, it is simply a safety and legal issue.
As an accountant, I am very well versed in the field of finance and tax compliance. So I’d like to ask a few questions related to the finances and operation of the Loveland Farmers’ Market, particularly since it has been widely reported that the market had a 30% drop in business last year. Here they are in no particular order:
- Who is the owner of the market?
- What is the tax structure of the market?
- Who is responsible for the rules and regulations of the market?
- How are the sales tracked? By whom?
- What is the cost for vendors to participate? Who receives this money?
- How many vendors participate? How many are from the community?
- Do all vendors have an OH sales tax license? Is sales tax collected and remitted on items that are not food?
- Have all vendors and the owner of the market filed an income tax return for the City of Loveland? Who is responsible for ensuring this is done?
- Are the rules for selling “cottage food” followed? Are the rules for “perishable food” followed?
- Does the owner of the market carry an insurance policy?
- Do the vendors have an insurance policy?
- What are the liability issues for the City if someone is hurt or falls ill from something purchased at the market?
Are you aware that the City Of Loveland in 2015 paid in excess of $1,600 for expenses directly related to the operation of the market? Is this fair to other Loveland based businesses?
Are you aware that the City of Loveland in 2011, 2012, 2013 leased property to the market for $1. Again, is this fair to other Loveland based businesses?
Are you aware a special exception was given to the market that allows for one permit instead of individual permits required for all other vendors conducting business in Loveland? Is this fair to other businesses?
[pull_quote_left]Council must make many decisions on behalf of our citizens and it is a responsibility I take very seriously. However, that job becomes more difficult when facts are not properly disseminated to the public.[/pull_quote_left]I believe every one of these questions merits an answer and discussion. This is fair to not only the other businesses located in the city but also the patrons of the market. Who is willing to have this discussion?
Council must make many decisions on behalf of our citizens and it is a responsibility I take very seriously. However, that job becomes more difficult when facts are not properly disseminated to the public. I invite all citizens to attend council meetings so you can witness firsthand the discussions.
City Council Member