COLUMBIA -- Vendors and wholesalers at the State Farmers Market in Columbia can stay at the Bluff Road site until Oct. 29, according to the University of South Carolina and the state Department of Agriculture.
But they will have to pay higher rents and clear out for football games.
The compromise was struck because some midsized wholesalers have not yet built or leased facilities at the new market in Lexington County.
Also, the market's private developer has not yet built new retail facilities for small vendors, although the department was making arrangements for them to operate out of farmers' sheds.
The push was the latest delay in transferring the market to the site on Charleston Highway in Dixiana, which was first slated for February. Recently, the vendors and wholesalers had, in most cases, been required to leave for a new market in Lexington County by Aug. 16.
The compromise was struck after vendors and wholesalers urged a delay so that everyone could move together, making it more convenient for wholesale and retails customers.
Bob Yandle, a retail produce vendor who led the push, said ideally the Bluff Road market should stay open until the end of the year, when the October pumpkin and November-December Christmas tree sales are over. "But October is good for me," he said. "It's a compromise."
Developer George Lee said bad weather early in the year caused most construction delays. But this one resulted from some midsized wholesalers waiting too late to make arrangements to move.
"But we'll be open and have everything ready for the next busy seasons, which are Thanksgiving and Christmas," he said.
The compromise forged between the department and the university stipulated that, among other requirements, the vendors:
--Pay 25 percent more rent after Aug. 16.
--Shut down operations during Gamecock home football games.
--Leave one person at their stall during games to watch over the equipment.
Also, USC will receive all revenue from game-day parking, rather than the Agriculture Department.