Petition to help Wichita Falls Farmers Market started

WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — A petition has gained traction on social media asking the public to support the Downtown Wichita Falls Farmers Market in their negotiation for better rental terms.

According to the original Facebook post from the Wichita Whispers group, the lease for the building used by the Farmers Market expired in April 2022.

Downtown Wichita Falls Development, which managed the lease, and the Farmers Market board have been negotiating terms for a new lease since April, but have been at an impasse, according to the petition.

The petition indicates that the building’s previous lease was for $750 per month. The new terms presented were a 74% increase in monthly payments to $1,350 and half of Association profits or an increase of more than 350% to $3,450.

We have contacted Downtown Development about this issue and received the following statement:

The Downtown Development Board of Directors is aware of the public petition to “save the Farmers’ Market” and would like to dispel any possible misconceptions. Negotiations between the City of Wichita Falls, the WF Farmers Market Association and the DWFD have been ongoing since March, with the association being notified of the increases ahead of Council’s adoption. DWFD is a city leaseholder from WF and subleases day-to-day management to the association. The intention of increasing fees under the contract is to cover maintenance expenses in the marketplace, thereby reducing taxpayer subsidies. DWFD’s sincere intention has always been to trade in good faith, communicate and be transparent in the best interest of the market. The DWFD convened a public meeting with city and council representatives, the board and the association to alleviate the concerns and come to an acceptable solution. We know the value that vendors bring to our community and district and are keen to see the market thrive. As this matter is ongoing, we hope to see an acceptable resolution that will be best for the vendors, the city and the taxpayers of Wichita Falls. »

Jana Schmader, executive director of Downtown Wichita Falls Development, Inc.

We’ve contacted the Farmers’ Market for more information, but haven’t received a response as of press time.

Stay on the Texoma homepage as we learn more. We’ll update this story as we get more information.

James V. Payne