Sackville Town Council has been asked once again to help create a permanent, indoor home for the Farmers Market.
During a slide-show presentation earlier this month, Garth Zwicker asked councillors to lease land adjacent to the Visitor Information Centre and the Sackville Waterfowl Park for a token annual fee.
He indicated that a permanent building could be constructed using new or used shipping containers on 11,000 square feet of the land with plenty of space remaining for use by other groups including local theatres.
“It’s been 40 years we’ve been bouncing around from location to location to location,” Zwicker said.
He added that over the years, council has heard many presentations outlining plans for a permanent market.
“You’ve never seen anything this grand, on this scale, on this level of organization, on this level of research.”
In one of his slides, Zwicker suggested the town needs an indoor Farmers Market that protects its vendors against winter cold, summer heat and rain.
He indicated that the project, which he estimates would cost from $866,000 to $960,000, could be financed by the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (50-60%); the province (20-40%); other grants (10 to 15%) and a capital campaign (5 to 10%).
The market would operate as a non-profit with its own board of directors and would be responsible for the design and construction of the new building as well as fundraising and operating expenses.
One of Zwicker’s slides identified what he sees as the town’s role in the project:
Zwicker acknowledged that his proposal could potentially lead to conflict with the present Farmers Market held Saturday’s from 9 a.m. to noon behind the Bagtown Brewery and the Sears building at Main Street and Wellington.
“I feel that what I’m proposing would give the town the market it never had,” Zwicker said.
In an interview later, he added that he served as the market’s manager for about six months in 2018.
However, he says he resigned in frustration because of a lack of progress in pursuing a permanent location.
Nearly a year ago, town council heard an appeal for support from the market’s current manager and two members of its board of directors.
For coverage of that presentation, click here.