Space can accommodate 55-60 vendors
The Vermont Farmers Market is moving to the Franklin Conference Center in Rutland’s Howe Center this winter.
Market Board President Paul Horton said after considering options, the Franklin Center was the best place to move.
The farmers’ market, which originally rented space at the Vermont Farmers Food Center, was forced to relocate last winter after contaminants were found in the soil beneath the building, causing air quality issues. The market moved to the Cortina Inn in Rutland town last winter.
“The Cortina just wasn’t going to work out for us long-term,” said Horton, declining to mention specific reasons for the move.
Hopes of returning to the Vermont Farmers Food Center by November were derailed this summer after environmental studies found the contaminant, Trichloroethylene (TCE), may be coming from underground storage tanks.
“We’re very grateful to be at the Franklin Conference Center,” Horton said.
Horton said the Franklin is a smaller area than what the market usually has. There will be enough space for about 55-60 vendors this winter, with each in 7-foot-square spots, which is down from the market’s usual 80 vendors.
“We would like a bigger spot but this will be adequate,” Horton said.
The winter farmers market opens Nov. 1. It’s unclear when or if the winter market will return to the Vermont Farmers Food Center at any time next winter.
“We’ll take a look at it when it’s ready, we don’t know when that’s going to be,” Horton said.
Rutland Mayor David Allaire said he was pleased the market was going to stay in the city.
“I know that we had some trouble trying to find them a spot last winter,” Allaire acknowledged. “For them to be able to secure that spot with a couple months to spare is good news for the city.”