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Athens Residents Give Input on Potential New Farmers Market Locations< < Back to
The City of Athens and The AceNet are moving forward with plans to move the Athens Farmers Market from it’s current location in the parking lot of the Market on State to the Athens Community Center Campus.
They held another community forum on Thursday to give community members the chance to voice their opinions, ideas and concerns about two possible locations. The forum featured boards with questions and maps showing the two options along with sticky notes for participants to write on.
Option A would put the Farmers Market where the current dog park is, behind the Holliday Inn next to the pool on East State Street. The dog park would then move closer to the Community Center building.
Option B would keep the dog park right where it is and move the Farmers Market to where the current tennis courts are, over by Steak N’ Shake.
Milena Miller said she’s been going to the Farmers Market for years. She lives on the Far East Side of Athens which means she’s right down the road from the current and possible future location of the Farmers Market. She said her biggest concern about moving the market is traffic.
“We cannot get on our streets half the time now so Saturdays are particularly hard you know it’s real crowded. You’ve got a lot of people from outside the county and from West Virginia and all over the place who come in here and this is where they’re gonna shop,” Miller said.
An ACENet employee who’s been working on this project since 2004 said traffic is always a concern. She said ACENet will be thoughtful and consider how traffic plays into moving the market.
Another community member who frequents the farmers market said he prefers option B.
“It still has its concerns. Is there gonna be enough parking? how will it impact the actual community center people? Whereas the dog park is kind of by the beautiful new sewer plant, which is beautiful, but I don’t know if I’d wanna sell vegetables next to it,” Joe Radwany said.
While some shared concerns about how a move would affect the market’s visibility, many customers were excited about moving from the shopping center parking lot at the far end of East State Street.
“They see a location at the community center so adjacent to the bike path to the neighborhoods-the Near East Side neighborhood and the Far East Side neighborhood-so that it would make the market much more pedestrian-friendly and certainly bike-friendly,” Leslie Schaller, the Director of Programs for ACENet said.
ACENet sees this is an opportunity to improve the community center campus overall so they asked people to suggest added amenities. These are things like space for food trucks, more shade trees and an Amphitheater.
Both Option A and Option B would renovate the existing tennis court and other sports spaces on the campus.
ACENet says they’ll take the community’s opinions and recommendations under consideration before agreeing to a plan with the Athens City Council. Council must pass a resolution before any move can happen.