Kenbridge gets money for farmers market pavilion

Published 10:59 am Wednesday, September 7, 2016

The town of Kenbridge has been approved for a $108,000 grant to build a pavilion at its farmers market.

The entire project is expected to cost about $115,000.

The Rotary Club, which has long offered to help with improvements to the old gym, is also going to apply for a grant.

“It’s possible they will come up with the difference,” Town Manager Robyn Fowler said.

But no matter what, Mayor Emory Hodges said, the town will come up with the difference because the project is one the town “can’t pass up.”

Located next to the town office on East 5th Avenue, the farmers market is open 8:30 a.m.-noon every Saturday — rain or shine — from the first Saturday in June through the last Saturday in October.

Promoting the market has been one of council’s priorities.

The town even tried to tie the farmers market to another of its projects — finding a way to save the old high school gymnasium.

Before shelving the proposal, the town had considered getting a grant to convert the gymnasium into an indoor farmers market. The gym is right beside the farmers market.

Officials consider it a landmark and said nearly everybody who grew up in the town used the gymnasium.

Council has been trying to save the building, which sits vacant, decaying and — town officially reluctantly admit — may be nearing the end of its existence.

The building, its status and how to preserve it continues to be a standing topic on council’s agenda, but the frustration about the lack of progress with it is clear.

“The gym is one of my main concerns as far as town properties,” Hodges told council when it got to the topic in August. “But, we’re not going to talk about it because all we talk about it is the problem.”