New Bern Farmer's Market would get stability with increased rent
NEW BERN, Craven County - The New Bern Board of Aldermen met Tuesday night to discuss a proposal that would significantly increase the rent for the organizers of the New Bern Farmer's Market. However, it would secure the market's location in the heart of the city for the next five years.
Several years ago, the city sought to move the location of the farmer's market but changed course following a petition drive that secured more than 15,000 signatures protesting the move. Since, it has engaged in lease negotiations with farmers market organizers for the past two years.
UPDATE: New Bern farmer's market staying put
The organizers currently pay $1 per month. The city is seeking to up that to $500 per month.
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"Everybody knows the area and knows we're here," vendor Dan Zadurski said of the market's central location. "And it helps out for the other shops and everything. They walk around and go down to the park or over to the convention center or they go over to Tryon Palace."The board of directors for the farmer's market says the event draws about 2,000 people on average each week. Bill Rust, a member of the market's board, said while the rent increase is costly, it could be worth it in the long-term to secure the five-year lease that comes with it. The market is open Saturdays year-round from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. and on Tuesdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. from April through December.
"This puts a lot of minds at ease - not only the vendors, but our customers and the folks in town who have come to view the farmer's market as a very important part of downtown," Rust said.