City council was set to decide Tuesday evening (May 7) but tabled the ordinance to come up in two weeks (May 21).
Alderman Matthew Petty is a sponsor of the expansion ordinance. He said the ordinance would close Block Avenue in addition to Mountain Street and East Avenue. Petty said its approval would be good for business.
“The market is going to partner with them to cross promote sidewalk sales and to do something akin to a food court on that side of Block Avenue,” Petty said. “I think it would get more people at the market.”
Petty said most businesses welcome the idea.
“All the Block Avenue businesses have signed letters of support from Town and Country on the North side all the way down to the Conventions Bureau, every single one of them,” Petty said. “There’s only one business that’s opposed and that West Mountain Brewery.”
Alderman Adella Gray said she’s been reluctant to change because she’s heard negative feedback.
“The fact that we have businesses on the square that don’t want the farmers market and say they lose business every time to have the farmers market,” Gray said. “So I felt like we really needed to listen to that.”
Gray said she needs to weigh the pros and cons before she makes a decision on her vote. She said the 40-year old ordinance is outdated.
“That’s the reason it’s taken us so a while to come to an agreement about what exactly it needs to be,” Gray said.
The Fayetteville Farmers Market has been around for 40 years. It’s open from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. each Saturday. It’s also open Tuesdays and Thursdays.