The Crookston City Council, through its Ways & Means Committee, has decided against altering a lease so Bob Prudhomme can grow more fruits and vegetables for the Crookston Farmers Market on about 2 1/2 acres of land in the city's industrial park.
"It's always nice to help these vegetable growers out, but this land is for us," Mayor Dave Genereux said.
The city currently leases the land, around 106 acres in all, to Casey Moen, who farms it. The city has in the past – the construction of Drafts Sports Bar & Grill on a portion of the land the city was leasing for agricultural use near Crookston Sports Center is the latest example – altered lease agreements and reserves the right to do so. But in the case of Prudhomme's request, the committee felt it was best to wait until the three-year lease with Moen is up for renewal in 2014, and see what happens then. Moen currently pays $80 an acre.
"Let's honor the contract, and then when the lease comes up open it up to bids," Ward 2 Council Member Dana Johnson said.
"If we do this, then what if others want to do it for their little farmers' market thing?" added At-Large Council Member Bob Quanrud.
Prudhomme lives adjacent to the acres he'd like to lease.
"He does live there, so I don't think we should totally close the book on it," said At-Large Council Member Wayne Melbye.