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Daily fees increase for flea market vendors
El Rematito flea goods
El Rematito Flea Market on Crows Landing Road is experiencing growing pains with increased traffic and parking issues. The city is working out those issues while extending its permit for 12 months.

The Ceres City Council on Monday voted 4-1 to approve increasing the daily fee that vendors pay to participate at the El Rematito Flea Market on Crows Landing Road.

The action means vendors will pay $2 per day, up one dollar in lieu of obtaining a business license.

In 1994, the City Council approved a resolution to set a $1 fee for flea market vendors per day, per space at a time when only the Ceres Flea Market was open at the drive-in theater location. Since then the flea market closed but in 2012 the city annexed in El Rematito Flea Market and subsequently obtained an updated Conditional Use Permit in March 2015. El Rematito operates under the requirement that the operator collect a business license fee per day, in lieu of individual business licenses and fees.

Since 2015, El Rematito Flea Market has collected fees from their flea market vendors and remitted more than $200,000 to the city.

Nelson Gomez, the attorney representing El Rematito, said the fee increase was deemed acceptable. He said the issue was the last issue before the Ceres Planning Commission reviews the conditional use permit on Feb. 5.

However, Councilman James Casey felt the daily fee of $2 was too low and did not support the motion.

“Two dollars doesn’t seem like a heck of a lot of money,” said Casey.

Christopher Hoem, director of the city’s Community Development Department, said the increase is just in keeping with inflation since $1 in 1994 has the same purchasing power of $2.07 today. Casey wondered where the $1 fee came from in 1994.

The new fee would also apply to any other flea markets that are created in Ceres in the future.

City Attorney Nubia Goldstein said the new fee will be inserted into the conditions of the permit for El Rematito to operate.

Hoem said anyone selling items at least three days during a 12-month period must have a seller’s permit from the state Department of Tax and Fee Administration.