Hermiston farmers market is back on, after vendors and citizens - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Hermiston farmers market is back on, after vendors and citizens speak up

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5-11-18 UPDATE:

HERMISTON, OR - It's been an eventful few days for the future of the Hermiston farmers market.

First, the City put a stop work order on the new venue site owned by Mitch Myers. Then, the City decided they'll host it on Festival Street. And now, Myers says they're taking it back.

The market will be held in the same area of Locust and N. 1st Place, but it will be on the opposite side from the old market site.

Myers says vendors and citizens asked them to take back the market because they didn't like the City's choice of location. In a letter to the City council, one vendor said "the downtown location was the worst of the three past locations."

The new market will be on Thursday nights starting May 24 from 5 to 8:30 p.m.
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5-10-18 ORIGINAL STORY:

HERMISTON, OR - The City of Hermiston was supposed to have a brand new venue for their farmers market this year... but now construction has come to a standstill. 

Mitch Myers, the owner of Mitco Investments said he was approached by the City to take over the farmers market. They agreed, since they already had plans to build Maxwell Pavilion. So they broke ground and started work on the pavilion, but were stopped last week when the City building inspector, Chuck Woolsey, put a stop work order on the site. Myers said the only reason he gave was that they did not have their building permit. 

This caused some confusion for Myers since he knows of several other projects in the region who have started work during the plan review phase, all before the building permit was received. 

"Its a normal practice I've verified that with the state and with contractors and other agencies," Myers said. "And they say it makes no sense that we were not allowed to do site work prior to a building permit." 

Myers said in order to move forward he's also been given a few demands. Some, Myers said, are unreasonable. 

"The unreasonableness is when on an open-air building I'm asked to have a plan for door latches on a building that didn't have doors," Myers explained.

On Wednesday, Myers met with vendors to deliver the bad news that they would no longer be able to put on the farmers market since a completion date for when the building will be done has not been decided.

He said the farmers market can still go on, it just needs someone to take on finding a new venue and promoting it. And even though people on social media have suggested the farmers band together and put it on, Myers said they aren't interested.

"What the farmers and growers are saying 'we don't want to be the promoters,'" Myers said. "'We're farmers. We produce cheese, we make candles, we don't want to be the promoters of the market. We want to show up and be vendors.'" 

Myers said construction will continue since they had plans to build the venue before being offered to host the farmers market.

We did reach out to the City of Hermiston for comment but they did not return our call. 

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