|6/3/2010 4:13:00 PM|
Farmers Market top at council
|The Dodgeville City Council heard complaints from vendors on the new location of the farmers market Tuesday night. |
The market was held at the Dodgeville United Methodist Church parking lot for several year. This year, at the request of the Dodgeville Chamber, the market moved to a vacant parking lot next to the chamber building.
Alderman Edwin "Corny" James said he had the issue put on the council agenda because he had heard complaints about the new location.
Mayor Jim McCaulley noted that the only thing the city has to do with the farmers market is the council was asked for permission to allow the market to be held on the lot, which is city owned.
Donna Johnson told the council the public is not happy with the new location and neither are the vendors. "There is limited parking, it's not shaded and it's hot. At the new location there are no sidewalks or crosswalks and if people park across the street it is a safety issue for people to cross."
She said if the market moved back to the church parking lot it would draw more people to the downtown businesses because it's closer to that area. "It's beneficial to have the market where people can get to it."
Johnson added that the chamber is trying to start a Wednesday market and maybe that could be held at the chamber lot.
Corny James said the market has been held for 36 years and the chamber doesn't have anything to do with it. He said the vendors didn't want to move, plus the chamber is charging them $5 a week at the new location. "I don't know whose idea it was to move the market, but they should have been left alone."
Alderperson Linda Pittz said the chamber got involved to help market the farmers market and the Wednesday market was started in an attempt not to compete with Mineral Point on Saturdays. "A takes a long time to get a farmers market to take off. The money the chamber charges goes back into helping promote it."
Luella Schutte said last year they were asked to move to the chamber lot and they did for four weeks and then went back to the church lot. "We want to go back to the church lot."
McCaulley stressed that the city has nothing to do with the location of the market and it isn't a council issue. He said they could go where they wanted, but the city has no control. "Again all we were asked is if the market could be held at the lot next to the chamber and we said yes. If you have an issue you need to work it out with the chamber."
Corny James said the chamber shouldn't even be involved and that's where the problem lies.
"But this has nothing to do with the city council. That's my point," responded McCaulley.
Pittz said the vendors were asked if they wanted to move and they agreed. She suggested the vendors attend a chamber board meeting and discuss the issue.
Alderperson Karren Zimmerman questioned if the chamber could charge the vendors $5 to be on city property.
She made a motion to have the city attorney check and see the legality of the issue with the chamber charging.
The motion was passed on a 6-1 vote with Pittz abstaining and Corny James voting against.
The council recognized Donnie Severtson who is retiring as deputy clerk/treasurer.
McCaulley told Severtson she was one of the nicest people he's ever worked with and she is extremely hard working. "We are losing a gem and we wish you the best of luck. Enjoy your retirement. You've earned it."
McCaulley appointed Terry Nelson, Dave Bakker, Patti Blabaum, Laurie Balk and Linda Pittz and a representative of the Super 8 to the new tourism and development committee. The committee will oversee the funds received from the new hotel/motel tax that was recently passed.