Farmers Market Policies Are Set

Published 4:57 pm Tuesday, November 1, 2011

FARMVILLE – Town Council has implemented policies for use of the new Farmers Market on North Street.

Chief among them is that only civic groups and organizations may rent the facility.

The fee for renting the space is $100, though the Farmers Market group is immune to any fee.

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“Right, we're not charging the Farmers Market (group),” Town Manager Gerald Spates noted to council members.

“If you had a civic group that wanted to use it, like to hold an event, you charge them $100 per use and that would include the whole day,” Spates advised.

Another policy stipulation is that no event may be scheduled at the facility on Sundays until after 1 p.m.

On weekdays, meanwhile, the parking lot has been metered with the same system the Town uses in its main municipal lot.

A point of information for civic groups and organizations considering the facility is that is comes with a single Porta-John.

The Farmers Market group uses the property on Saturday mornings.

“We also said they (civic groups and organizations) could rent after the Farmers Market was finished,” noted council member Sally Thompson. “They finish their use at noon, so then another group could rent it.”

Town workers began demolishing the old tobacco warehouse on North Street in January, preserving three sides in order to create the covered open-air market.

The main spur for the project was to create a permanent dedicated home for the Farmville Farmers Market, which had been housed under the eaves of the Farmville Train Station.

The Town purchased the warehouse for $507,425 and the farmer's market/parking project is a central component in the Town of Farmville's efforts to enhance the downtown area.

The Virginia Tobacco Commission provided slightly more than $100,000 to assist the project that is adjacent to High Bridge Trail State Park. A short path has been constructed to help provide easy access between the Farmers Market and the state park's trail.

Town officials are pleased with the transformed use of the property, which provides both a Farmers Market, and space for civic groups and organizations, while adding metered downtown parking during the week.

“We paid $500,000 for that piece of property. I guess we could have let it go but when would you have another opportunity?” Spates told council members while discussing the project last year.

Council member Tommy Pairet has described it as “a huge asset.”

“You're looking at the future,” fellow council member Dr. Edward I. Gordon agreed.

Town Council had paid a structural engineer to study the building to ensure it would safely support a farmer's market, coupled with partial demolition for parking spaces.