The City of Vernon insists the Vernon Farmers Market isn’t being cast aside.
As a result of Saturday’s referendum, Kal Tire Place will be twinned into the parking lot where the market takes place.
“We really support agriculture, buying local and the market. We’re trying as hard as we can to work with them,” said Coun. Catherine Lord.
The city has suggested the market move to the performing arts centre parking lot during arena construction but VMF’s board has decided to remain at Kal Tire Place although with a reduced footprint.
“It is quite a bit smaller than what was promised to us when we moved to the multi-use facility 15 years ago so we will be downsizing,” said Ingrid Baron, market manager.
“It is not ideal, but we will make it work.”
Baron was not pleased with the successful outcome of the referendum.
“This community reminds me of a tree with only one branch. All the other branches keep getting cut off,” she said.
Construction of the arena will take place between the spring of 2017 and the fall of 2018, but some pre-loading of the site could possibly impact market operations in 2016.
Doug Ross, the city’s recreation services director, says there will be ongoing communications with VFM.
“It’s always been our goal to ensure they can continue to operate,” he said.
Ross added that a new parking area along 43rd Avenue could be expedited and that would ease some of the pressures facing the market.
Baron is looking forward to the end of construction and the opening of the ice sheet so the market can try and return to normalcy.
“To be honest, it will be better once construction is done because the construction area is bigger than the actual building,” she said.
VFM pays $3,100 a year to use the Kal Tire Place parking lot, which is $55 per day for between 54 and 58 days. The site was free until 2013.