Farmers Market Seeks Help from a Market Master

In last Tuesdays worksession, the Council discussed a proposal from the downtown Farmer’s market committee to hire a market master to run the market in the upcoming season.

Last year, the Council appointed a committee to review the operations of the downtown College Park Farmer’s Market and survey the community regarding the desire to encourage the sale of locally grown produce through the Market.

The committee recommended that the City pursue one of three avenues to hire a Market Manager – operate the Market itself, retain an independent entity to operate the market, or hire an independent contractor. The Council decided to look into the second and third options, and issued a Request for Qualifications (RFQ) for a Farmers Market Master on December 27, 2012.

The City received one proposal in response to the RFQ, which was submitted by KSM Marketing, LLC of McLean, Virginia in the amount of $28,600. Staff and the Farmers Market Committee (“Committee”) reviewed the proposal, conducted an in person interview with the company’s President, and checked references for the respondent. All of these tasks, as well as the others listed in their scope of work, are included in the proposed contract amount of $28,600. Items related to planning and marketing for the DCPFM’s re-launch in mid-April will cost $5,500, while items related to in-season management and marketing will cost $23,100 for the 2013 season.

The budget is based on a 30-week market season, with each market day costing $770, excluding off-season planning and marketing. The market would open in mid-April and run into November. The Farmer’s Market Committee recommends that the Mayor and Council award the Farmers Market Master contract for one year to KSM Marketing, LLC in an amount not to exceed $28,600. No funds are currently appropriated for this activity.

The Council will vote next Tuesday to approve the appointment.

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