City, market work on plan

The Vernon Farmers Market is not standing in the way of a new arena

The Vernon Farmers Market is not standing in the way of a new arena.

VFM directors met with Mayor Akbal Mund and Coun. Catherine Lord Thursday to discuss the location of the market in the Kal Tire Place parking lot if twinning of the ice sheet occurs after Saturday’s referendum.

“We are not against any kind of building,” said Brian Zelaney, VFM past-president.

However, Zelaney insists that the needs of the market are a priority during construction and long-term if an arena was open.

“We’ve been part of the community for 30 years,” he said, adding that the market has a $3 million economic impact annually.

The city had originally suggested that construction could move the market farther north in the parking lot, but Zelaney says that area is an unpaved “grassy bog.”

As a result of Thursday’s meeting, the market will be shifted closer to Kal Tire Place, with a buffer created for construction.

“We will gain more of the parking lot back,” said Zelaney.

While a site during construction has been hammered out, Zelaney admits that VFM is concerned about parking if a twin sheet is constructed in the existing parking lot.

“We are willing to work with the city.”

Mund was pleased with Thursday’s discussion.

“We had a great meeting and we made sure the area north of the construction site is their’s to operate,” he said.

“We support them and we will work with the construction firm, if the project proceeds, to make sure the market continues to operate.”

Mund says he recognizes that the market and its 200 vendors are important to the community.

“They are business people and we don’t want them to fail,” he said.