Proposed changes to the Farmers' Market at the June 10/11 Board of Selectmen meeting.

Farmers’ Market Vendor Tally Remains at 19 For Now

The following is the Part Three of a recap from the June 10, 2014 Westford Board of Selectmen meeting. For links to other parts of the transcript, click here.

9:52 p.m. Zac Cataldo and Gloria Gilbert of Sustainable Westford came before the board for an update on the Farmers’ Market.

Gilbert talked about restrictions on size cutting the amount of vendors down to 19.

The current plan says that a coffee, health and apothecary vendor would be cut if the limit was down at 19. Visiting vendors would also be limited.

Gloria said it was difficult, but needed for safety and traffic issues and that she wants to work together with the town to make the market viable.

Peraner-Sweet was unsure if anything was being asked, Gilbert asked if there could be more than 19.

The first market is a day from today, and Sirani asked if there were more vendors than 19, which Gilbert said there were.

Proposed changes to the Farmers' Market at the June 10/11 Board of Selectmen meeting.

Proposed changes to the Farmers’ Market at the June 10/11 Board of Selectmen meeting.

Gilbert also noted all of them were local to the Westford region, although Peraner-Sweet asked where they were from.

Gilbert named a few towns where vendors came from at this point.

Siriani then asked if there would be training with Westford committees, but there was no word on that.

Mark Chambers of the Westford Police clarified that it was not a training but a request for volunteers to remind people to use crosswalks.

Siriani said the proposal probably wouldn’t be modified on this night, but he asked Gloria if any of these issues should be revisited by the board.

Gilbert said the amount of vendors is the key issue, and that with a limited amount of vendors, it would impact the quality of the market. She also asked for an additional management tent.

Peraner-Sweet asked how many tents would be needed.

Gilbert asked for four more, three vendors and a management tent.

Kelly Ross asked about maximum amount of vendors last year (26) and market managers (5), which would be reduced this year.

Siriani asked why concerts and choruses were prohibited.

Gilbert replied, with another reply from Jodi Ross, saying that the troupes brought a large number of parents to the Common, leading to traffic issues.

There was more discussion, leading a talk about a discussion in February, which was geared toward public safety issues in keeping the event at the Common.

Ellen Harde from the Common Restoration Project then came to the microphone, saying that an amendment without going to the Common Restoration Project would be inappropriate due to the work the Project did in trying to maintain the Common.

She asked the board not to amend the allowed amount of tents in this way.

Hazelton said that there was a conscious effort to compromise, and that coming back devalues the restoration efforts, and that the compromise number of 19 was something all parties originally agreed to.

Peraner-Sweet then asked the board if any amendments be made if they should first go to that committee.

Hazelton agreed, saying the Recreation Department and Recreation Committee also has to play a role.

One of the student helpers then asked how long a decision would take, given the market is opening next week, saying that she and Gilbert had put a significant amount of work into bringing the vendors to the market.

Peraner-Sweet said that the group could get together as quick as possible, and a recommendation could be acted upon as soon as in two weeks at the next Selectmen’s meeting.

10:12 p.m. – The board approved its consent agenda and approved minutes.

10:13 p.m. – A grant agreement between the Town and the United Methodist Church for a window replacement that was recommended by the Community Preservation Committee was approved.

10:16 p.m. – Under the town manager’s report, several items were approved, including the opening of the warrant, an anonymous $10,000 donation for tax relief, and other issues.

The board then went into executive session again at 10:19 to discuss the Agnew Property deliberations again.