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Kamloops Public Market group turning to public for input on what the city needs

Residents have until Dec. 28 to provide feedback
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PublicMarketFloorPlan
(via Kamloops Public Market Cooperative)

The group behind the public market concept is looking to do some market research with the community.

As the Kamloops Public Market Cooperative continues to look for support for the concept, a new survey is being launched to gauge the general public's temperature in regards to the proposal.

The survey will focus on two areas, says executive director Daphane Nelson.

"What we're hoping to do is put this survey out just asking some simple questions about what people could see themselves using at a facility like this," she tells KamloopsMatters. "And then one simple question about whether Riverside Park is OK (for the site of the market)."

The online survey has a couple of multiple choice questions and a space for comments.

The proposed location in Riverside Park — next to Heritage House and the adjoining parking lot — saw pushback before the concept had even been made public. Nelson says Riverside Park is still the strong preference of the group. She says she has spoken to city staff, who've suggested the public market could be part of the redevelopment of the former Value Village, at Seymour Street and Fifth Avenue.

Riverside Park location is preferred, she says, because of access and parking. A downtown location is also important, as it's the easiest location for out-of-towners to find and get to, adds Nelson.

"We want it to be a regional hub," she says, describing it as a potential "destination" draw. She adds she's worried the conversation about a location is drowning out discussion about the public market concept.

While the survey is the first broad engagement with locals, Nelson has met with groups, including representatives from Sandman Hotel and Tk'emlups te Secwepemc. She says those meetings were positive.

Another source of concern she's heard is the cost to Kamloops residents and how the project will be funded. With estimates ranging from $20 to $30 million to build the project, she's looking into grants, including one from the province and federal governments that could cover two-thirds of the bill. Alternative funding like an investment co-op could be considered as well, as she recognizes the local taxpayers wouldn't be amenable to the full cost. 

While the survey is one prong right now, Nelson says the group is already raising funds for the cooperative side of things by selling shares, which will translate to benefits and votes if and when the cooperative market launches.

The survey wraps up Dec. 28. Nelson hopes to speak to city council about the concept in the new year.

To fill out the survey, click HERE.




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Brendan Kergin

About the Author: Brendan Kergin

Brendan Kergin is a digital reporter based in Kamloops.
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