Farmers market may last into fall
DERRY — The Derry Farmers Market could continue past this summer, but where it will be located and how it will be run are still to be determined.
The market became a source of contention among the Town Council members during the spring budget workshops.
Portions of several workshop sessions focused on the battle to cut the market director position budget from $21,800 to $5,000.
The initial motion by Councilor Mark Osborne failed, but the issue was revisited and eventually the position was scaled back to $5,000.
At the time, Town Administrator John Anderson said the money would be just enough for the market to operate through the summer but would not be able to continue in the fall and winter, as it has in the past.
This year's market has been open on Wednesdays from 3 to 7 p.m. in the parking lot behind the Derry Municipal Center on Manning Street. The last scheduled day of the summer market is Wednesday, Sept. 25.
Market director Bev Ferrante said she is working on plans that could keep a version of the market open at least through the fall, although the location and how it will be run could change.
"If we do continue through October, it will fall under a private entity and a different location," said Ferrante. "The final decision will depend on how many vendors want to extend for another four weeks."
At the time of the budget debates, Osborne said the $21,800 was nearly twice the income brought in by the market. While he said he did not oppose the market, he suggested that costs should not outstrip revenues and that it could possibly be operated on a volunteer basis.
The majority of the revenue brought in by the market is generated during the summer.
Ferrante said the market got off to a somewhat slow start this summer, especially given the rainy weather, but that interest and business has picked up considerably over the past month.