In 2023, catering companies in Saint-Amand-Montrond will have to rent public space to take advantage of uncovered terraces

“It had become a bit of anarchy. You took the marketplace, it was a pile of chairs and tables. But it was useful for shoppers and allowed people to take advantage of the shops despite health restrictions, ”emphasizes Geoffroy Cantat, deputy mayor of Saint-Amand-Montrond, responsible for economic development, referring to the end of free access uncovered terraces for all Saint-Amandois catering establishments.

“Desire for uniformity”

From the spring of 2023, merchants who have benefited for free from an uncovered terrace installed in the public space will have to go through the rental box. “This free access had even been postponed until 2022 with a more controlled spread of the terraces. The choice of the former municipalities was overall to have non-paying outdoor patio spaces, except for covered spaces, ”adds Geoffroy Cantat.

Around the Guet-Apens in Pigny, market life animates Thursdays

It is in a “desire for uniformity” that the municipality has made this decision so that “the restaurateurs are placed in the same boat, without any inequality. We faced discussions between merchants who paid and others who did not pay.”

This charge will therefore no longer apply according to the City Council’s decision of 3 March. The chosen one continues: “There will now be a square meter price for everyone”.

Uniformity therefore, but also harmony, in relation to the “situation in France”. The elected representative assures:

“Logically, the outdoor terraces belonging to the public domain are taxable. We had begun to reach the limit of the exercise. Somewhere, in an unwritten way, we alienated from the public to the private domain without compensation to the owners, the city. and all of Saint-Amandois. “

“It is logical that we rent the public space”

On the part of the merchants in question, the end is understood to be free. “This is completely normal. In all cities it is chargeable. It is therefore logical that we rent the public space,” comments Johan Jacquemin, co-manager of the restaurant La Place, located on Place du Marché. The town hall helped us during Covid-19, and rent will allow the city to preserve the city. The town hall has previously made a great effort to renovate our terrace. “

“This decision does not shock me either, I agree with it,” said Angélique Martinat, head of Paddock, Place du Marché.

The restaurateur, however, admits that it will increase other expenses, which are increasing. The grocer says:

“It will be an additional expense that must be budgeted with. This is in addition to the veranda, which I rent for 700 euros a year. We want the choice between a price for the season or for the half season. Already now there is an increase in food, gas and water. Last year, however, it was awful to pass the Place du Marché. »

“Another budget expense, in addition to increases in water, gas …”

For Geoffroy Cantat, this measure is also “soothing”: “This free use, merchants had it, but did not master it over time. Every year, in the end, it was a bit of their obsession to know if they wanted it the year after, for we are in the public space, and one morning we could have said to them: “Listen, there is no terrace, the city is completely within its rights.” »

He pursues:

“During the night, they may lose their number of seats. We agreed on widely acceptable prices. And now the merchant will make a contribution, but it will be safe, because in quotation marks there will be a contractual connection between him and the City. »

Jeraud Mouchet

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