In July 2017, the City Council approved the allocation of $600,000 of Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) dollars to construct a new farmers market structure on the city-owned lot near the intersections of Truman Rd., Liberty St., and Osage St. Civic leaders began advocating for a new farmers' market following the leaders exchange to Bentonville, AR. The project is intended to be an iconic new feature to enhance programming and aesthetics on the Independence Square.
At this early stage of design a budget has not been established, but preliminary estimates indicate that the project could cost upwards of $1 million. The Rotary Club of Independence offered to lead a private fundraising effort to support the project. Specifically, the club is dedicating the proceeds of its annual Mardi Gras Carnival fundraiser on February 17, 2018, to the project. The Memorandum of Understanding documents the responsibilities of both parties related to the private donations raised by Rotary.
The major terms are as follows:
- Rotary will make every reasonable effort to raise $400,000, but commits to raise at least $100,000.
- Funds will be managed by the Truman Heartland Community Foundation in a fund established for that purpose.
- The City will name a prominent structure, plaza or gathering area within the project for the Rotary Club of Independence. The final named element will be determined in the project design phase.
- The term of the MOU and naming rights is 15 years. The parties agree to meet at least 90 days prior to the expiration of the MOU to determine if there is mutual interest to extend the MOU.
- The property and all improvements will remain under the ownership, maintenance and operation of the City.
- The City Manager will meet annually with the Rotary Board of Directors to review the status of the project and explore opportunities for future partnerships to support the facility.