Lucas Vance Staff Writer
January 18, 2014
WINNSBORO — After extreme cold weather last week, the Fairfield County Farmers Market will temporarily move indoors.
Terry Vickers, president of the Fairfield County Chamber of Commerce, was concerned the Farmers Market was not open last week due to the cold weather that hit the area and requested the Farmer’s Market be allowed to move.
Vickers cited legislation from the 1785 Assembly that designated the Town Clock be used for fairs and markets. The building has been used in the past as a market place.
Council approved the use of the first floor of the Town Clock as an interim location. The Farmer’s Market has been being held outdoors in the vacant lot next to the NAPA Auto Parts.
“Once you stop something people have routinely gotten used to, it’s hard to get them back, so we’re trying keep that continuity,” she noted.
Vickers agreed the interim basis would only be needed through March, because the market would then be moving into the old Voter’s Registration building behind the Town Clock. She acknowledged that there is money available in the market’s budget to cover the cost of utilities.
“I will take responsibility along with our market manager, Ernest Manning, to leave the building in the same condition we received it,” Vickers assured council. “We hope our passion with what we’re doing with the market and our passion for Winnsboro that you will take this request into consideration.”
Manning stated that since the market’s inception in June, the market has made progress and has eight regularly scheduled vendors — sometimes as many as 14 — and averages 46 customers per week.
“We look at the market as a meeting place and a community event,” he said. “We want to have continuity during the winter months so folks will get used to coming to the market.”
Manning stated that an indoor market can help spur people’s desire to visit. He confirmed that the space would be big enough because vendors would eliminate their tents, since the market will be held inside.
Councilman Stan Klaus raised concerns about space for customer parking, but Manning explained that vendors would unload and then move to another parking area to ensure customers would have parking close to the market.
Councilman Clyde Sanders questioned the town’s attorney, John Fantry, about liability issues. Fantry quelled his concerns stating the same insurance would apply with any event that happens in the Town Clock area.
Vickers also said the market has its own liability insurance, which would protect the town as well. She stated it would be a simple matter to transfer it to the Town Clock.
“We just spent $300,000 renovating the Town Clock and I don’t want it damaged in any way,” Sanders said.
Vickers, who worked in that location for several years, assured Sanders the building would be taken care of. After discussions, Councilman Jack Wilkes made a motion to approve the request, which received no opposition.
The Farmer’s Market is held every Saturday from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
In other business, council heard the first reading of Ordinance 012114 to sell the Mt. Zion property to support the historical preservation and redevelopment efforts of Friends of Mt. Zion Institute (FOMZI) for $5.
Additionally, second reading of ordinance 010714 passed. That ordinance authorizes the town of Winnsboro to lease a portion of the water tank on Cook Road to Fairfield County for $5, for the purpose of locating two radio antennas to boost emergency service signals.