Marketplace Manager To Be Hired

Published 3:13 pm Wednesday, February 12, 2014

FARMVILLE — Despite the snow, spring is around the icy, soon to be slushy, corner.

Pitchers and catchers have reported for Major League Baseball’s spring training and Town Council voted Wednesday night to create and fill the position of market manager for the Farmville Community Marketplace, which will celebrate its own opening day in April in the farmers market facility on North Street.

Play ball.

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Play Brussels sprouts.

And how about that potato-tomato double-play combination?

The Farmville Community Marketplace will operate its own baseball-mirroring season from the beginning of April through the end of October.

Council members will also soon consider the adoption of regulations proposed by the Town’s Farmville Community Marketplace Committee, a group that includes a representative from the farmers market association that formerly used the Town’s facility.

That committee’s members were also formally appointed Wednesday night, though the committee has already met.

The proposed regulations describe the marketplace as being designed “to be a hub for community activities. The Marketplace is a multifaceted public/private facility which showcases our community by providing a venue for outdoor events, including a farmers market, a multi-dealer open market, festivals, reunions, weddings, etc.”

The purpose of the committee, meanwhile, is to ensure the orderly operation of the market “while striking a fair balance between all participants.”

The marketplace will be under the supervision of the committee and town council. The committee will be responsible for recruiting and approving vendors, establishing and enforcing Marketplace policies, and promoting the Marketplace, distributing marketing materials and supervising daily operations.

The market manager will be responsible for the actual operation of the Farmville Community Marketplace in the North Street facility, including fostering community support, helping to promote the market and to be on site, rain or shine, while the market is open. That presence will include greeting all shoppers, coordinating vendor placement, and answering vendor and shopper questions.

The Marketplace committee members are town council member Jamie Davis, town manager Gerald Spates, Pam Butler, Steve Wall (Herald publisher), Allison Crews and a member of the Heart of Virginia Farmers Market Association. Town clerk, Lisa Hricko, will serve as the committee’s secretary.

The Town, meanwhile, has said the association can continue using the North Street facility built by the Town until April. The association renamed itself and relocated to Rice in response to the Town’s decision to take over operation of the farmers market effective January 1.

The Town’s plan is to expand use of the facility, itself, as well as increase the number of vendors on market day. The regulations adopted by town council this week stipulate only that guns, live animals, pornography, bootleg or illegal materials and any items that may be potentially dangerous cannot be sold on market day.

Vendors, and there are no restrictions on where they must live and no membership dues, will simply pay $5 per market day for a 10-foot by 10-foot space when the Farmville Community Marketplace opens in April.