Local farmers are elated after learning the town’s parking lot is set to become paved.
The paving project will cost taxpayers $65,000, an amount approved in the 2014-2015 Elkin budget.
Last winter, the Elkin Farmers Market received a $75,000 grant from the N.C. Tobacco Trust Fund Commission (NCTTFC). The farmers market will use the funds to construct a new community open-air shelter that will serve the current and future market vendors.
Repair to the decaying parking lot was a condition on grant receipt. Farmers said construction of a restroom also may be a requirement.
“Our budget for the shelter is $75,000 which includes the shelter and utilities. We are asking for a separate quote for an optional public restroom to be located at the market. The total quote cannot exceed $95,000,” said a post on www.elkinfarmersmarket.com.
Construction bids were accepted through April 1.
“We already did the bids… I haven’t notified everybody yet, so we have no comment,” said Laura Gaylord, community manager for the town.
“Paving the parking lot is good news. It means they’re taking steps to get the pavilion built. It means we won’t need tents. Everyone is in the dry, even the customers,” said Dale Green of Green Valley Farms. “This is a great market. Elkin is the most dedicated farmers market around. We do this in several locations, too. We love this place.
“It’s always nice when the town takes an interest in efforts that help us grow. We haven’t been updated on where the project stands, so I’m not sure where it is at this point, but paving the parking lot is great,” said Jody Hartle of the Barking Coyote.
Hartle serves as treasurer for the local farmers.
The Elkin Farmers Market holds seasonal shopping opportunities for residents each Saturday on the Town Hall parking lot from 9 a.m. to noon.
In a prior interview, Chairman Bill Teague of the NCTTFC said, “The rural economy and many communities in North Carolina continue to face challenges in a post-tobacco buyout era… Elkin is committed to providing a practical and appealing shelter that can serve the community in many ways.”
Anthony Gonzalez may be reached at 336-835-1513 or on Twitter @newsgonz.