By MELINDA WILLIAMS
Come spring, Pulaski Farmer’s Market will be under new management and have a new home.
Pulaski Town Council unanimously voted Tuesday night to enter into a two-year contract with Pulaski County Chamber of Commerce for management of the market, which has operated at Maple Shade Plaza for the past three years.
Under the new contract, the market will return to Pulaski Train Station and new fee scale and participation guidelines will be established for vendors, said Peggy White, executive director of the chamber. She said the chamber’s executive board already has approved the proposal.
The chamber had proposed charging the town $5,000 per year to manage the market, but the Chamber’s president-elect, Robert Hiss, agreed Tuesday night to accept $4,000 the first year and $5,000 the second year.
Funding will come from $5,000 set aside in the town budget for Greater Pulaski Alliance, which has managed the farmer’s and flea markets for years.
Councilman Joseph Goodman suggested the reduction in fee so that GPA could retain $1,000 in “seed” money for reorganization. The intent is for GPA to reorganize and grow so that it can manage the market again in the future.
White said the farmer’s market will be operated from April 1 to Oct. 31 each year. It is currently open May 3 through Oct. 4.
Since a contract has to be executed and there are only a few weeks left on this year’s schedule, White said the changes will most likely take place next spring.
Goodman and some other members of town council started questioning management of the market after some vendors apparently expressed concern that the market would die due to declining participation.
Councilman Greg East made the motion to turn management of the market over to the Chamber and use $4,000 of the GPA funds to cover the first year of management. Councilman Jamie Radcliffe seconded the motion, which passed unanimously.