Attleboro Farmers Market Granted Extension; Less Room for Non-Profits
The Attleboro City Council voted to extend the Attleboro Farmers Market permit until the end of October.
More than 100 people filled Attleboro City Council Chambers in support of Attleboro Farmers Market Inc., which was in danger of having to shut down the market because of its permit, which was set to expire on the last day of summer, Sept. 23.
The Attleboro City Council granted an extension for organizers to hold the market at the Attleboro municipal parking lot until October 29 after Eddie Porreca, Attleboro Farmers Market Coordinator requested an emergency measure for clarification on the permit's language during a City Council meeting Tuesday night.
"I believe that this is a global misinterpretation of the permit issued by the council in regard to the Farmers Market duration," Porreca said in letter to the Municipal Council. "I submitted a request to the council on June 2, 2011 for the use of the parking lot at 74 North Main St. for the first Saturday in July, July 2 until the last Saturday in October, October 29 2011.
An expired permit was not the only issue threatening the market's contination. A dispute between the market and the Attleboro Public Library's Board of trustees over parking was also an issue.
To deal with the issue of parking, the two organizations agreed to move the market from one area of the lot to another.
"It is a compromise that we were happy to make with the library and are grateful to all parties to allow the market to continue," Porreca said.
The move, however, equals less space for vendors and less space for non-profits including the Friends of the Attleboro Animal Shelter, Attleboro Dog Park, Project 9/11 and other groups that have utilized the weekly market to spread the word about their cause.
Joan Pilkington-Smyth, a member of the Attleboro Public Library's Boad of Trustees, would not comment on the outcome Tuesday night.
Attleboro City Councilor Richard Conti, who helped form and launch the market, said he is worried about next year.
"I want a farmers market to be next door to a friendly neighbor," he said after the meeting.
"At the conclusion of this season I think what we'll do is evaluate the location and poll our vendors," Porreca added.
Vendor Lisa Nason said she was happy with the outcome, but was upset with the fact that it came only after a lot of headaches that could have been avoided.
"If you believe in something enough and are passionate enough about it, it's worth fighting for," Porreca said after the meeting. "Today was a great lesson in democracy and compromise."