In 2023, catering businesses in Saint-Amand-Montrond will have to rent public spaces to benefit from uncovered terraces.

“It became a bit of anarchy. You took Market Square, it was piles of chairs and tables. However, it was useful for traders, and allowed people to take advantage of the shops despite health restrictions,” underlined Geoffroy Cantat, deputy mayor of Saint-Amand-Montrond in charge of economic development, referring to the end of free admission. Uncovered terrace for all Saint-Amandois catering businesses.

“The Desire for Uniformity”

From the spring of 2023, traders benefiting free of charge from an uncovered terrace installed in a public space will have to go through the rental box. “This free access was even postponed to 2022, with a more controlled expansion of the terraces. The choices made by previous municipalities were, on the whole, to have non-paid outdoor terrace spaces, except for covered spaces,” added Geoffroy Cantat.

Around Pigny’s Guet-Apens, market life animates Thursdays

It is in a “desire for uniformity” that the City made this decision, so that “restaurants are kept in the same boat, without any discrimination. We are faced with discussions between those who have paid and those who have not.”

This free will therefore no longer be effective according to the decision adopted by the City Council on March 3. The chosen one continues: “There will now be a price per square meter for everyone”.

Hence the similarity, but also the similarity, regarding the “situation in France”. The elected official assures:

“Logically, outdoor terraces, belonging to the public domain, are chargeable. We were starting to reach the limits of practice. Somewhere, in an unwritten way, we separated from the public domain to the private domain without compensation for the owner, the town and all of Saint-Amandois. »

“It’s logical that we rent public spaces.”

In this regard, the concerned traders are finally understood for free. “It’s perfectly normal. In all cities, it’s chargeable. So it’s logical that we rent public spaces, comments Johan Jacquemin, co-manager of Restaurant La Place, located on Place du March. The town hall helped us during Covid-19, and The rent will help the city maintain the city. The town hall has made great efforts to rehabilitate our terrace in the past. »

“This decision does not shock me, I agree with it,” said Angelique Martinat, manager of Paddock, Place du March.

However, restaurateurs admit that this will add other costs, which are increasing. Merchant said:

“It will be an additional expense that will have to be budgeted for. This will be in addition to the balcony which I rent for 700 euros per year. We will choose between prices for the season or for half-season. Food, gas and water have already increased. However, passing the Place du Marche last year was awful. »

“Water, gas is another expenditure in the budget besides increase…”

For Geoffroy Cantat, this measure is also “reassuring”: “This free use, the merchants had it, but could not master it over time. Every year, at last, they had a little obsession to know if they would get it next year. , because we are in public places, and one morning, we could say to them: “Listen there is nothing. Sopan, the city is entirely in his possession.” »

He follows:

“Overnight, they can lose their place. We agree on a widely acceptable price. And now, the merchant will make a contribution, but it will be protected because, in quotation marks, there will be a contractual link between him and the city. »

Jeraud Mouchet

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