CLARY SHY 2

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COLUMBIA - The Columbia Parks and Recreation Commission met Thursday night in front of a small crowd to discuss agreements on new developments at Clary-Shy Park. 

The commission decided to recommend approval of the Columbia Center for Urban Agriculture and Columbia Farmers Market agreements to the City Council. 

Director of Parks and Recreation Mike Griggs said the agreements will allow the two groups to function in the park. 

"Basically, these agreements allow the Columbia Center for Urban Agriculture and the Columbia Farmers Market to have their activities here in the Clary-Shy Park," Griggs said.

Griggs said having both the commission and the council review the agreements allows for the transparency the Columbia Parks and Recreation likes to uphold. 

The 15-year agreements include things like market hours and utility costs. Under the proposed agreements, the Columbia Center for Urban Agriculture would pay its own utility bills. 

The proposed agreement for the Columbia Farmers Market includes a sliding scale where the market will pay the costs of its utilities to the city. 

The market will pay for the different amenities as they are added. Currently, the market pays $2,000 annually to the city for use of the parking lot. Once the entire pavilion that is being added to the market is built, it will pay $12,000 annually.

November 18 is the last day of the Columbia Farmers Market. At 10 a.m. that day, Columbia Parks and Recreation will hold a groundbreaking ceremony for the new agriculture park that will be built at Clary-Shy. 

Griggs said anyone is welcome to attend the event and help start construction of the new park. 

"So we're encouraging everyone to come out to the market and stick around for 10 a.m. for the official ceremony," Griggs said.

Anyone who attends the groundbreaking ceremony can even get his or her hands dirty. 

"If they've got shovels or something, come and join us as we turn over that first soil to start the project," Griggs said. 

The Columbia City Council will review the agreements with Columbia Center for Urban Agriculture and the Columbia Farmers Market at its next two meetings. 

The council will vote to approve the agreements at its first meeting in early December. Both agreements, if approved, would begin on March 1, 2018. 

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