Steep farmers market permit increases fought by market community

“The proposed increase for 2015 was submitted by the Department of Environmental Health Services (EHS) at Public Health – Seattle and King County to the Board of Health back in September in 2014.
Costs for market coordinators will rise from $502 to $1,162 and individual vendor costs will rise from $281 to $400 per market.

According to the King County Health Services website, the fees have not changed since 2012 and they no longer cover the cost of providing the regulatory and educational services that “protect the public’s health.”

The Board of Health is currently determining what the new fees will be through the use of the following determination: fee = hourly rate x time. The hourly rate refers to the cost per hour for doing plan reviews, inspections, processing permit applications in addition to supervision and department and county overhead. Time references the time each activity takes for each permit category which EHS tracks in actual time spent. “For some permit categories, the proposed fees are much higher for this reason,” writes EHS on the King County Health Services website.

(January 2015 Update. Information gathered from within the market community):
King County Council told Public Health to give their fee structure a rethink, and the Board of Health postponed voting on the proposed fee hikes until their January meeting, at least. In the meantime, markets and vendors are being advised to renew their permits under existing fee rates now for 2015, to sidestep any potential fee hikes.The public and local media has been extremely supportive.

UPDATE The board of health’s fee subcommittee proposed Thursday, Jan. 15, farmers market and temporary event fees remain flat this year to allow the inspection program to be redesigned to include less services to bring the cost down while maintaining adequate food safety. The board is expected to vote on this proposal in February…

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More on food trucks

I recently posted a story about Seattle’s new food truck laws. This msnbc story covers that in detail and also adds some of other cities that are just trying to figure it out. Nice to see cities paying attention to start ups, but will we see McDonald’s carts in the future too?
Food trucks

Seattle expands food truck rules

Many cities are feeling the pressure from both the entrepreneurs who want to start new businesses and from the restaurants and coffeehouses that see these mobile vendors as competition that are allowed to live without the hassle of the rules of a storefront.
Interesting that Seattle is expanding the area for these trucks, not restricting them.

Seattle Food Trucks