During PG&E’s multi-day Public Safety Power Shutoff in October, the owners, managers and employees of the Mill Valley Market, for what seemed like the umpteenth time in the market’s history, went way beyond simply selling groceries, proving to be an essential local business that stayed opened throughout the shutoff, setting up charging stations, finding extra shipments of ice and generally serving as a much-needed gathering place for the community.

They did so, in part, because they’d brought in a generator powerful enough to keep the market’s operations running throughout. Earlier this month, the Mill Valley City Council unanimously approved a plan that will ensure the market’s ability to do so in the likely event of future shutoffs.

The council, backed a plan to allow the market, which is adjacent to City Hall, to lease a portion of the City’s parking lot for 10 years for $1 per year, with the option to extend it for an additional five years, so that they can permanently install a generator. The specific location will require the removal of three immature redwood trees and the pouring of a concrete pad, according to City officials, and the market will pay for that work to occur.

“A grocery store is sensitive to power outages,” City Manager Jim McCann told the Marin Independent Journal. “All of their perishables are in jeopardy and Mill Valley saw a real threat to its economic viability. It would be out of business without power.”

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