Advance notice sought for market

The DVA has until the end of February to tell the City of Vernon if it wants to hold Avenue Market again

Sufficient time is being sought to determine the future of a public market.

The Downtown Vernon Association has until the end of February to tell the city if it wants roads closed so the Avenue Market can proceed in the spring and summer.

“I’d like it brought forward sooner than later,” said Coun. Juliette Cunningham, who owns a 30th Avenue business.

“We’re always pressured to make a decision. I’d like to have good lead time.”

On Monday, council was presented with a city survey of merchants about Avenue Market, and Coun. Brian Quiring wasn’t pleased with the staff recommendation to just receive the survey.

“I was hoping for a bit more of a strategy of how to move forward,” he said.

“I don’t want to shelve it like we usually do.”

The city distributed 143 surveys along six blocks of 30th Avenue in October and 55 or 38.5 per cent were returned.

Eighteen per cent of respondents stated they always participate in the market, while nine per cent said sometimes and 73 per cent said no.

When asked if they want the market to continue in 2016, 42 per cent said yes as is, 20 per cent said yes but on Saturdays, 20 per cent said yes but with changes, five per cent were neutral and 13 per cent said no.

When asked if the Avenue Market provides an economic benefit or economic cost for the business, 27 per cent stated there was an economic benefic while 31 per cent reported an economic cost, 26 per cent were undecided and 16 per cent did not provide a response.

The final question asked if the Avenue Market is good for downtown as a whole. Sixty-five per cent stated yes, 20 per cent said somewhat, nine per cent said no and six per cent did not respond.

City staff have been instructed by council to make the survey available to the DVA.