Market Days future rocky

City Administrator Jeff Looney presented Market Days information he compiled himself over the last few years to City Council last week. Also pictured is (seated from left) Public Works Director Clyde Woods, Police Chief Kenny Bulger, and Accessories Etc. owner Mary Small.

Photo by April Walker

Fairfield City Council discussed the future of Market Days during last week's Tuesday night meeting. According to information compiled by City Administrator Jeff Looney, Market Days has been losing $20,000 per year for five years – a total of $100,000.

Market Days Director Darlene Jones says the problem isn't vendors and shoppers, it's the city cutting her funding and a lack of visible signs to draw shoppers to the market.

Councilman Place 5 Kenny Hughes, who is running for mayor in 2018, suggested – with the support of the council – a workshop to discuss the market, its needs, and more in January.

Looney alleges the city is losing roughly $900 per month in private rentals of the Green Barn and Civic Center, which is where many vendors set up their wares; however, City Secretary Misty Richardson said she only receives “three or four calls a year about renting the Green Barn.”

“So, what's causing the decline?” asked Councilman Place 2 Randy Johnson.

“The economy. The time of year. And I think it would help if the City of Fairfield backed me a little bit more,” said Jones. “If the City of Fairfield would man up, get on the ball, and advertise.”

The city cut Jones' advertising budget $11,000 during September budget discussions. According to Jones, a sign advertising the market reads Market Days is January through October – which is wrong.

“Market Days is not January through October. We are in November and December for holiday shopping, too. I told Jeff [Looney] this and he has done nothing about it,” said Jones.

 

 

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