Greenport Farmers' Market organizers will not only have to change locations this year, they might have to pay a larger fee to set up shop in the village as well.
At Monday evening’s Greenport Village work session, the board set aside time to discuss the merits of the Greenport Farmers’ Market mass public assembly permit. The group asked to extend the hours from 8 a.m. until 1 p.m., asked for a three-year contract, and asked to change location to the South Street parking lot west of the IGA.
Mayor David Nyce read a letter from Greenport Business Improvement District (BID) President Peter Clarke, in which Clarke pledged his overall support for the market and the proposed South Street location. However, Clarke also voiced concerns over parking and asked the village to ensure parking in the lot would resume at 1 p.m. “sharp.”
Christina Larkin, treasurer of the Greenport Farmers’ Market, said her organization received guidance and advice from Greenport’s BID for the upcoming year. Larkin said the first year was successful for the market and the group received positive feedback from residents, vendors, and businesses. She also pointed out many customers walked to the market each week.
“The location wasn’t our first choice, but we made the lot our home and we’ll make this new lot our home,” Larkin said.
Nyce said, based on the input he’s received, the board will have to make suggestions as to where vendors park, so additional parking spaces are not taken and homes on Second Street are not impacted. He also did not support extending the time until 1 p.m. because the village lots start filling up by 12:30 at peak times.
Trustee Mary Bess Phillips said she had heard from merchants that the cleanup did not always go quickly and questioned whether the trustees could even agree to a three-year contract. She said she believed the market brought new people into the village and that it was a positive addition.
While saying that he felt the market did work, Trustee George Hubbard said the $1,000 fee the village charged the market was not enough and he said the fee should increase. He suggested a $2,500 fee as being fair for this year considering the rent and taxes other merchants have to pay to do business in the village.
After listening to input from trustees, Nyce said the village will vote on allowing the market to use western most South Street parking lot for one year and charge a $2,500 permit fee. In addition, the market must be out by 1 p.m. and will not be allowed to run over Memorial Day weekend.
The board will vote on the resolution at a special March meeting because Nyce and Phillips will not be at the February meeting.