New vendor sought for farmer's market
by Celia Shortt
Newnan City Council has decided to find a new vendor to replace the “Our Community Farmers Market” in downtown Newnan.
The market had operated last season in the parking lot next to the historic train depot on East Broad Street. The group organizing the market had requested to move the operation to the Court Square.
The council Tuesday continued its discussion about the market and the organizers’ request for a new location, a discussion which began at the Dec. 17 meeting.
“The concern I have with what was there (at the market) this year was the abundance of craft vs. pure food produce market,” said Newnan Mayor Keith Brady.
Councilmembers George Alexander and Bob Coggin agreed with Brady.
“That was my biggest concern, produce,” said Alexander. “Yet they were doing all these other things.”
“If it’s a farmers market, it should be farm produce, preferably locally grown produce, and not craft,” said Coggin.
Market manager Marianne Pizzitola disagreed with council members about the number of craft items.
“We really didn’t have an abundance of craft, quite honestly,” she said. “We had very few crafts, and I don’t know where this misnomer is of an abundance of craft. We had one craft person that she came … our soap maker.”
The soap maker was an original founding member of the market whose product is handmade with an agricultural tie, Pizzitola said. According to Pizzitola, most farmers markets throughout the country allow products with agricultural ties to be sold.
“I don’t consider her a craft because she has a direct agricultural tie,” she said. “She is a founding member of our organization and our secretary. So, I can’t just tell her, ‘Well, Newnan doesn’t want a soap maker in a farmers market. You can’t come.’ I’ve got to be true to our business,” said Pizzitola. “These are founding people.”
Brady felt that Pizzitola’s statement held the solution for the problem.
“I think what you just hit on is the answer, is that we need to find another vendor,” he said.
The council unanimously approved finding another vendor who will provide Newnan with a produce market.
In other business Tuesday:
• The council scheduled public hearings for Feb. 25 regarding properties at 4 Welch Street, 78 Temple Avenue, and 80 Temple Avenue.
• Approved was a request from the Coweta County School System Director of Operations and Safety for the closing of Evans Drive to through-traffic starting in May 2014 instead of June — which was previously approved by the city last summer. The closure is for the renovation of Evans Middle School, where the original building will be demolished and replaced.
• Alcohol licenses were approved for Spring Hill Suites on Bullsboro Drive, Tequilas Restaurant & Club on Greenville Street, The Classic Cafe on Jackson Street, and Manic Porch Radish LLC on Jefferson Street.
• The council approved the 2014 budget and canceled its called meeting that had been set for noon on Jan. 16.
• Approved was a resolution to adopt the 2014 pay plan. • The council heard a request from David Edwards on behalf of Turnstone Holding LLC to rezone three tracts of land (51.69+ acres) in portions to accommodate a 258-unit apartment complex and for commercial/office use – RZ2014-01. The rezoning request is before the Planning Commission for consideration. This was for information only.
• The council heard a request from James Mottola on behalf of Newnan Bypass Associates Inc. to rezone part of the 4.8+ acre property located at 77 Millard Farmer Industrial Blvd. from IHV (Heavy Industrial) to CGN (General Commercial) – RZ2014-02. The rezoning request is before the Planning Commission for consideration. This was for information only.
• The council approved for the city to apply for a Georgia Department of Transportation GATEway Grant for the proposed State Route 34 at Interstate 85 Interchange Landscape Enhancement Project. City Manager Cleatus Phillips was authorized to apply for and accept the grant if awarded, and approved was a resolution authorizing the mayor to sign a Georgia Department of Transportation Memorandum of Understanding for design, administration, plant installation and maintenance under the Georgia Transportation GATEway Grant Program.
• Adopted was a support resolution for Downtown Development Revolving Loan Fund (DD RLF) for the acquisition and renovation of the building at 11 and 13 Jefferson Street in downtown Newnan that may aid in realization of redevelopment goals for downtown Newnan.
• Approved was the Business Development/Main Street request to close streets and use downtown sidewalks and some parking spaces for Main Street events as follows:
1. Spring Taste of Newnan, April 24 — Close 3 p.m. until close (parking spaces). 2. Fourth of July Parade, July 4 — Traditional parade route, closure starting 6 p.m. 3. Sunrise on the Square 5K Road Race, Aug. 30 — Traditional race course, closure starting 7:30 a.m. 4. Fall Taste of Newnan, Oct. 2, 3 p.m. until close (parking spaces). 5. Santa on the Square, Nov. 28 — Close 5:30 p.m. until close. Also approved was permission to use sidewalks (and parking spaces where noted): 1. Market Day — First Saturday, April through December-10 a.m. - 2 p.m. 2. First Friday — First Friday downtown events, April through December, 5 -9 p.m. 3. Spring Art Walk — March 21, 5 - 8 p.m. 4. Summer Wined Up — June 3, 5 -9 p.m.
5. Fall Art Walk, Sept. 19, sidewalks and parking spaces , 5 - 9 p.m.
6. Oktoberfest Boutique Beer Tasting, Oct. 17, 5 - 9 p.m. 7. Munchkin Masquerade (Downtown Trick or Treat), Oct. 31, 10 a.m. - noon.
8. Holiday Open House, Nov. 16, noon - 5 p.m.
• The council approved a request from Coweta County Drug Court to hold their annual Fundraiser Walk on May 10 on the route used in previous years from 7:15 – 10 a.m.
• Approved was a request from Coweta County Girl Scouts to sell cookies on the Court Square during Cookie Booth season as they have in the past, at specific time intervals on Friday, Saturday and Sunday from Feb. 14 – March 16 with adult supervision.