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Aldermen rethinking proposed farmers market

OXFORD — The city of Oxford will take a second look at locating at farmers’ market next to the Park Commission’s Community Garden.

The Oxford Eagle reports the board of aldermen agreed this week to put the new farmers’ market project on hold until at least next spring.

A grant for $61,258 was awarded to Oxford from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

The market was proposed to fall under the Oxford Park Commission’s umbrella and be next to the old National Guard Armory that currently houses the Oxford University Transit system.

About $50,000 of the grant would pay the salary for a part-time manager for two years and for some materials.

The cost of constructing a pavilion and additional parking would come out of the city budget.

Aldermen expressed second thoughts about the project for various reasons.

Two aldermen were concerned about parking and drainage problems. Another said he didn’t feel the city should be in the farmers’ market business, creating competition against local grocery stores.

Others were concerned about how the market would affect the Mid-Town Farmers’ Market that has been held every Saturday from May-October.

The Mid-Town Farmer’s Market Board of Directors issued a statement expressing its disappointment that the city would attempt to create a second farmers’ market when it’s been operating successfully for 10 years.

Mayor Pat Patterson said the city was not going into the farmers’ market business, only providing a place for farmers to sell their products that would have a pavilion for shade and other amenities.

Patterson suggested the city put the brakes on the project until those involved have had more time to discuss it.

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