Mayor insists Vernon Farmers Market will have to move for ice sheet

Akbal Mund and Catherine Lord will meet with market society to find new location

There’s strong words coming from some politicians over a future home for the Vernon Farmers Market.

On Monday, city council appointed Mayor Akbal Mund and Coun. Catherine Lord to meet with the farmers market board to determine an alternate location for the market should the referendum to twin Kal Tire Place succeed Nov. 28.

“We will find them a suitable location where they can go,” said Mund.

But when it was pointed out that the farmers market doesn’t want to move from Kal Tire Place’s parking lot, Mund stated he’s only hear that view from one person.

“We haven’t heard from the board of directors or the people who use the market,” he said.

Lord is calling for a compromise, but says the market will have to leave Kal Tire Place if the arena project proceeds.

“We can’t hold up a new ice sheet,” she said.

One possible location is the Vernon Performing Arts Centre parking lot, and while the farmers market society disagrees with it, Mund says it has potential.

“That’s a better spot. There’s lots of parking and all of the people in the apartments close to downtown could walk to the market. There would be more business for everybody,” he said.

In a recent letter, the Vernon Farmers Market board stated that moving to a different location, even during construction, is not an option.

“We have too much invested in promotional material and signage and there really isn’t anywhere to move to. It should be mentioned that our lease is good for three more years,” it stated.

The VFM wants a new ice sheet constructed to the west of Kal Tire Place but the city says that’s not possible because of ongoing legal action with the Okanagan Equestrian Society over Kin Race Track.

As part of their process for a new location, Mund and Lord will report to council with alternate sites for the market.