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Downtown Vernon market gets final nod from council
The green light has been given to Avenue Market.
Vernon council approved a public market on 30th Avenue Tuesday after being convinced a majority of the merchants support the venture.
“I’m thrilled,” said Lara Konkin, with the Downtown Vernon Association, which is organizing the market from May 9 to Sept. 26.
Council refused to make a decision April 14 because it wanted proof that a bulk of the merchants on 30th Avenue were in favour of closing down the road Friday evenings for the market.
A survey was done and of 112 business owners on 30th Avenue, 102, or 93 per cent, endorsed the market.
“It reconfirmed what we already knew,” said Konkin.
“We, the DVA, represent a much larger area than those four blocks deemed affected by council. Merchants and businesses off of 30th Avenue have written, signed and called the DVA office to show support of the Avenue Market.”
The public market will include commercial vendors and merchants along 30th Avenue will be able to use the sidewalk for merchandise displays and sidewalk cafes.
During the Avenue Market, portions of 30th Avenue will be closed Fridays from 3 to 8 pm. and vendors will be able to use the Bennett parking lot on 29th Avenue for free for their vehicles.
“It’s a real positive,” said Mayor Rob Sawatzky of the market.
“It will bring people downtown and that’s what makes a downtown is people. It’s part of a positive trend.”
However, there continues to be some reluctance about the overall impact of the market.
“Time will tell. I’m not sure who the vendors are and if they won’t compete with the current businesses with the same products,” said Coun. Juliette Cunningham, who owns a business along 30th Avenue.
The Avenue Market will be one of three events Friday nights in the area. The Vernon Friday Night Market will return to the Village Green Centre parking lot May 9, while the Coldstream Farmers Market is year-round at the Coldstream Women’s Institute Hall.