About the Blog:

Guelph Politico is locally sourced and dedicated to covering the political and cultural scene in the City of Guelph. Est. 2008.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Well, You Can't Say That They Didn't Fix the Problem (or can you?)

The City continued to struggle this morning, trying to find a new location for the Farmers' Market after some dusty old bus barn was, surprisingly, declared unsuitable for the weekly market. And since, apparently, the roof of the Market will collapse if you even breathe on it wrong, a new location was desperately needed. Ask and ye shall receive, but only so long as you don't look a gift horse in the mouth in this case.
You can read the full press release below, but in brief it says that arts & crafts vendors will get City Hall, while vendors selling produce will be set up across the street in the Wilson Street Parking Lot. Vendors requiring hot or cold water are out of luck, and I can't imagine that anybody selling meat and cheese is going to be able to accommodated either. And while were at it, how are the people setting up in the Wilson St. parking lot supposed to feel about this arrangement. Nothing like frostbitten fruits and veggies, am I right?
Is this seriously the best possible solution? I know time's of the essence here, but no one at City Hall could maybe take an extra day and think of something better than this? 
At the same time, there are still a number of outstanding questions about why the roof on the Farmer's Market building was allowed to get to such a horrible state of decay. An article in today's Mercury offered little in the way of new information from the City, and even the man in charge seemed to not know a lot about what was going on. “Right now people want answers that are not available. And they’re getting anxious that they don’t know what’s happening, and I understand that,” said executive director of operations and transit, Derek McCaughan.
In the vacuum of actual information, speculation and threats are trying to fill the void. A post to the Mercury's 59 Carden St blog posited a conspiracy theory that the Farmers' Market is being pushed out by the City, and in this morning's Mercury article it seems like that's going to happen pretty eventually as some vendors are talking about not coming back to the Farmers' Market building when it reopens.  
There are so many questions and not enough answers, and the answers being given are utterly unsatisfactory.

GUELPH, ON, December 7, 2010 – The Guelph Farmers' Market building at the corner of Gordon Street and Waterloo Avenue is now closed until repairs to its roof are complete.
Public safety continues to be of paramount importance to the City of Guelph. Based on a recent structural assessment of the building, the City of Guelph—which owns the farmers’ market facility—is of the opinion there is sufficient engineering evidence and professional advice to warrant closing the building in the interest of public safety.
Arts and craft vendors will be invited to relocate to the lobby of City Hall, and produce vendors will relocate to the Wilson Street parking lot. Unfortunately, vendors who require hot and cold water for the operation of their booth cannot be accommodated at either location. The City will be meeting with these vendors as soon as possible.
The Guelph Farmers' Market will be open and operating at these two locations every Saturday until repairs to the market building’s roof are complete. Free two-hour parking will be maintained in the Wilson Street lot.
The City is in the process of contacting each market vendor to inform them of the new location and provide details about the transition.
Repairs to the market building’s roof are expected to take eight to ten weeks.
The City of Guelph encourages the community to continue to support farmers’ market vendors during this time of transition.

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