City surveys market’s future

The City of Vernon wants to know, once and for all, if a public market has broad-based appeal.

The City of Vernon wants to know, once and for all, if a public market has broad-based appeal.

Council instructed staff Monday to proceed with a survey of affected 30th Avenue business owners to determine support for the Avenue Market organized by the Downtown Vernon Association.

“I want this survey to cover all of the bases and to be objective,” said Coun. Catherine Lord.

The city will conduct the survey and merchants can respond anonymously.

“There will be no names attached to the survey,” said Lord.

While a number of businesses have come out in support of the market, which runs Friday nights, others have indicated that it has negatively impacted parking and revenue.

Businesses will be asked if they participate in the market, do they want the market to continue in 2016 and if they believe the market has been good for downtown.

However, two other questions have been added after prompting from Lord.

“There should be a question about whether you would support a market on Saturday,” said Lord, adding that merchants should be asked for specifics on any benefits or costs they have seen due to the market.

As part of the survey, businesses at street level on 30th Avenue, from 30th to 33rd streets, would be given one type of code for tracking.

Businesses above and below street level on those blocks would be given another code and businesses on each adjacent block would be presented with a third code.

“This would allow the results to be analyzed separately and together,” said Cleo Corbett, long range planner.

Coun. Juliette Cunningham hopes the survey will end the ongoing debate over the market.

“We are putting a fair amount of effort into this. I don’t want this to be, ‘he said, she said.’ I want everyone to freely give their opinion,” said Cunningham, who owns a business in the affected blocks.