INDEPENDENCE, Mo. – The Independence City Council tonight approved the $3.3 million Farmers Market project. The City contract with McCownGordon Construction includes the construction of an enclosed Farmers Market pavilion and a stand-alone open air pavilion on the west side of the parking lot located on Truman Road between Osage and Liberty. The City will use a combination of grants and private funds to support the project.
“We listened to citizens, farmers and business owners — this permanent Farmers Market will allow us to offer not only a venue for local farmers and crafters but a new opportunity for regional events, celebrations and more,” Mayor Eileen Weir said. “With the help of organizations like the Independence Rotary Club and the Truman Heartland Community Foundation we are able to work with the community to bring public and private funds together for the future of our City.”
The City is looking outside of traditional funding models to save taxpayer money on this project. An interfund loan from the Water Fund to the Parks/Recreation Sales Tax Fund will save the City an estimated $800,000 compared to a 20-year bond and will generate an estimated $138,000 in additional interest for the Water Fund over the 15-year life of the interfund loan. This will not impact utility bills for any City customers. Further, the City has identified a minimum of $815,000 in grants or private funds to support the project.
“We recognize the challenging financial times facing many municipalities and we want Independence residents to know this project is not one we enter into lightly,” City Manager Zach Walker said. “Our first and biggest responsibility is to responsibly manage tax payer dollars. This project is the result of community leaders, department heads and city officials working together to think outside of the box as we look to our city’s future.”
The Independence Rotary Club is holding a Mardi Gras fundraiser on Feb. 17, 2018, of which all proceeds will be donated toward this project. In recognition of their work and commitment, a Rotary Plaza has been incorporated into the final project.