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Farmers Market future location in question

By Marlana Ward
Freelance Writer

Another group looking for more room is the Johnson County Farmers Market. Mayor Parsons informed those in attendance that the previously mentioned plans of a proposed shelter to be added to the park for use by the market and the general public was now off the table due to the discussed area being in a floodplain and unsuitable for construction. “It is in the flood zone so we will not be able to do anything with putting a building there,” explained Parsons. “Unless we get this looked at and changed, which you can do, but I don’t know how much time that would take.”
Farmers Market Manager Jana Jones was on hand to discuss alternatives for the market as it heads into the 2018 season. “Everybody is asking where we are going to be,” Jones said. “April 2, is our vendor meeting.”
Alderman Bob Morrison expressed his understanding of the time constraints on the market and need to have a location determined. “You need to know so you can tell them,” Morrison said. “It would be weird meeting somewhere on Saturday and then back and forth. The first few months is when you get things going.”
The market was hopeful to use the paved area behind the park’s pavilion to conduct their weekly market activities. City Recorder Sheila Shaw saw some issues with the pavilion already being promised to other groups throughout the spring and summer. “I have had several people already reserve the stage area for events on Saturday,” she said.
Jones inquired about the use the area after the market vendors were gone by noon. Bellamy and Shaw, however, both pointed out that some groups use the pavilion for all-day activities and the limited area could not support two things going on at once.
Parsons suggested the market look at locating on the opposite side of the park entrance. “What about that area to the left the parking lot for the playground area,” Parsons asked. “We aren’t saying this would be permanent, but at least you would be able to set up without any conflicts with the stage or with team practice times.”
It was determined that allowing the market to set up their vendor tents against the newly constructed fence along the Goose Creek Trail would be the best solution for the time being. “If something should happen, a big issue or something, we reserve the right to say ‘sorry that isn’t going to work there’,” Parsons said.
“We can always go back to the parking lot at the courthouse,” Jones agreed.