City helps fund Federal Way Farmers Market's Fun Runs

The Federal Way Farmers Market kicks off its 2012 season on May 12-13 at The Commons Mall parking lot near South 324th Street. - Courtesy photo
The Federal Way Farmers Market kicks off its 2012 season on May 12-13 at The Commons Mall parking lot near South 324th Street.
— image credit: Courtesy photo

The Federal Way Farmers Market is trying to expand its presence in the community, and hopes to do so with two separate Fun Runs this August.

To make this happen, organizers of the farmers market turned to the city to ask for funding to the tune of approximately $11,000. They were granted that assistance in a unanimous decision by the Federal Way City Council on May 1.

Patrick Doherty, economic development director for the city, shared the background on the farmers market's request for funding, saying the organization had originally applied for a Tourism Enhancement Grant.

"This originally did come in the form of a Tourism Enhancement Grant application, but it was discovered that the rules for those particular applications require a 501c3 status. (The farmers market) does not have that status. It was suggested they go to the Lodging Tax Committee, which they did," Doherty said.

The farmers market plans to have partnerships with the USO (United Service Organizations), the Boys and Girls Club of Federal Way, and World Vision. The hope is that those partnerships will bring plenty of participants to the event on Aug. 11. The course would stretch from the BPA trailhead to First Way South and back for the 5-kilometer run. The 10-kilometer run would go from the BPA trailhead to the King County Aquatic Center and back. Doherty noted that the runs would be timed for those interested in keeping track of their performance.

"This obviously implies that First Way South will need to be closed during the 10K portion of the run. We've done some calculations, and it looks like it would go from about 8:30 a.m. to 10 a.m. I've spoken to the public works department and the police department, and it's a feasible thing to do. We'll have to do some advance work on getting notice to the neighborhood," Doherty said.

Along with that output of work and funding, Doherty also shared that both the public works department and police department anticipate they'd be contributing about $2,000 of in-kind donations through staffing. Councilman Roger Freeman was curious as to what might happen if the event ends up being successful beyond what organizers are predicting.

"It just dawned on me that this may be a windfall, where you have quite a few people come out and run," Freeman said. "The expenses are $18,705. What happens if they make $19,000?"

Doherty fielded the question, saying the city operates in this situation by doling out the money only when receipts are turned over to the city.

"We may not, potentially, have to give out the entire amount, if they get more receipts from participants than they thought they would," he said.

As was already mentioned, the council unanimously approved the funding in a 4-0 vote, with members Susan Honda and Bob Celski recusing themselves because of their association with the farmers market's advisory board. Deputy Mayor Jim Ferrell was absent for the evening with an illness.


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