Nearly three hours of Attleboro City Council discussion, that at times became heated debate, was not enough to settle the dispute between library and farmers market officials over use of the municipal parking lot on 74 North Main Street. One week after the council approved new rules for the market, the issue will go back to the governing panel tonight at the request of Councilor Jonathan Weydt.
The new rules approved last Tuesday by the divided council include a requirement for the market to hire a police officer and a prohibition on market customers from parking in the lot located next to the library where the market takes place from June to October. While the acting chair of the Library Board of Trustees praised the rules as a good solution to meet public safety concerns, market officials are opposed. They say the requirement to hire a police officer is not financially feasible and are considering holding the weekly event in other locations outside Attleboro.
Weydt filed a motion last Wednesday for the council to reconsider the decision. He told Attleboro-Seekonk Patch that "the future of the Attleboro Farmers Market is in jeopardy" and the council's decision "sent a message that Attleboro is anti-business."
Farmers Market President Heather Porreca wrote in a statement that appeared on the market's website and on Attleboro-Seekonk Patch, "Our immediate decision of our location [for the market] will be the result of what transpires at the next council meeting."
Linda Binns, acting chair of the Library Board of Trustees, did not respond to Attleboro-Seekonk Patch's request for comment about the issue of reconsideration.
Weydt said in an interview on Friday that he had received an overwhelming amount of feedback about his action, most of it positive.
"I've been getting phone calls and an outpouring of support from people hoping things change a little bit," he said. "It's been crazy. I've never had so many phone calls about anything as much as this issue."
The special council meeting is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. at City Hall. The council also has its regular committee meetings tonight as well as a closed session regarding the Attleboro Redevelopment Authority. The order of the meeting will be determined tonight.