RINCON — A farmers’ market proposal grew some roots during an Oct. 25 Rincon City Council meeting.
City Manager John Klimm said, “The question is, ‘Is there support for the concept of a farmers’ market? Interestingly, our friends from the First Baptist Church who recently had a farmers’ market that was very successful thought it was a great idea that the (City of Rincon) was thinking about possibly utilizing city-owned land for this purpose.”
Klimm said one local farmer recently asked to use city property to sale his products.
The city manager asked, “In the general sense, would you rather us find one entity to sale their wares on our site and pay the city rent or do you kind of like the idea of a farmers’ market?”
Klimm presented a staff-designed schematic of a farmers’ market to the council and asked for its input.
“A lot of communities have farmers’ markets,” he said. “We don’t have to reinvent the wheel. We could find out what other policies, rules or regulations are in place and borrow from other communities.”
Mayor Ken Lee first brought up the idea in May, mentioning a 9th Street property as a potential site. His input was initiated by First Baptist Church’s request to host farmers’ markets in its parking lot June 3 and June 26.
“Like anything else, it’s mired in a million details,” Klimm said. “Are we going to limit what can be sold? Is it just produce? Can it be crafts?”
Klimm had a few more questions, asking, “Where do we want to go with that to who is going to pay for the improvements to the property and how is that all going to work because you don’t want a bunch of tents that don’t match? You don’t want something that is not visually attractive.”
Klimm mentioned a state grant might be available to help get the project off the ground.
“We are looking at that,” he said.
Councilman Levi Scott support of a farmers’ market with multiple vendors selling multiple products, including crafts.
“I like the concept,” he said, referring to the schematic that included six selling areas and a parking lot.
Klimm said competition among multiple vendors might make Rincon “a destination” for shoppers from other counties.
After Councilmembers Ben Blackwell and Michelle Taylor offered encouraging words, Lee said, “I’d like to see us test it. We don’t have to do anything elaborate.”
Councilman Patrick Kirkland also voiced support to proceed but asked about the cost of cleaning up the area.
“You just want to pick up the appearance a little bit,” Klimm said.
Councilman Reese Browher said, “I love farmers’ markets. I go to get tomatoes and wind up spending $45. I love the concept and think it would be a good community event ...”
With the council in agreement, Lee urged Klimm to devise a plan of action to launch a “pilot” farmers’ market.