WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — A petition has been gaining traction on social media asking the public to support the Downtown Wichita Falls Farmers Market in their negotiation for better lease terms.
According to the original Facebook post in the Wichita Whispers group, the lease for the building the Farmers Market uses expired in April 2022.
Downtown Wichita Falls Development, who managed the lease, and the board for the Farmers Market have been negotiating terms for a new lease since April, but have reached an impasse, according to the petition.
The petition says that the former lease agreement for the building was $750 per month. The new terms presented were a 74% increase in monthly payments to $1,350 and half of the Association’s profits or an increase of over 350% to $3,450.
We reached out to Downtown Development about this issue and received the following statement:
The Board of Directors for Downtown Development is aware of the petition to the public to “Save the Farmers Market” and wishes to clear up possible misconceptions. Negotiations between the City of Wichita Falls, the WF Farmers Market Association, and DWFD have been ongoing since March, with the Association being notified of increases prior to Council adoption. DWFD is a leaseholder to the City of WF and subleases day to day management to the Association. The intent with raising fees within the contract is to cover maintenance expenditures at the market, thus reducing subsidies to the tax payers. It has always been DWFDs sincere intention to negotiate in good faith, communicate, and be transparent in the best interest of the Market. DWFD hosted a public meeting with City and Council representatives, the Board, and the Association to mitigate concerns and come to an agreeable solution. We know the value vendors provide to our community and district and strongly desire to see the Market thrive. As this matter is ongoing, we hope to see an agreeable resolution that will be best for the vendors, the City, and taxpayers of Wichita Falls.”Jana Schmader, Executive Director of Downtown Wichita Falls Development, Inc.
We have reached out to the Farmers Market for more information but have not received a response as of publication.
Stick with Texoma’s Homepage as we learn more. We will update this story as we get more information.