Letter: Market details need attention

Aug. 08, 2014 @ 11:52 PM

To the editor:

I am the author of “Greg’s Garden,” a newsletter published since February on the HomeinHenderson.com website. I write today about concern for the Vance County Regional Farmers Market.

In the Vance County commissioners meeting on July 7 the manager of the market, Tracy Madigan, was presenting an update on the market. When asked the question by a commissioner as to where the “business plan” was, she replied it was being prepared. There was no timetable of completion. The commissioners approved expenditures of more than $124,000, yet the market’s projected revenue was $8,000 for the 2014-2015 budget year. Ms. Madigan gave no insight to why such a low figure of return on the taxpayer’s investment.

The county extension office website includes forms for vendor application and vendor guidelines, but the form to actually apply to rent the market building, by far the most profitable, remains absent. We are now approaching school going back to session and the loss of family reunions or get-togethers that could have been a way for the market to make additional funds — all this because the lack of attention to what would appear to be the fundamental reason for the market: to make money.

I met with Ms. Madigan in July and asked about the forms. Again, I was told that they are being prepared but heard no timetable for their completion.

It is a common problem in Vance County that good ideas are started and then discarded due to the absence of attention. This market is a valuable tool for the communities it wants to serve. It has been a part of the landscape of Vance County for many years. But it is destined to go away like other good ideas if someone is not accountable for the lack of attention of this market.

Mari Miller