Farmers market in Greenport may make a return

Greenport Farmers Market organizer Lara McNeil serves soup at the farmers market's old location in 2012.
Greenport Farmers Market organizer Lara McNeil serves soup at the farmers market’s old location in 2012.

The Greenport Farmers Market may be returning to a spot near its former location.

During last Thursday’s meeting, Village Board members and Lara McNeil of the farmers market, which is being kicked out of its space in the Greenport United Methodist Church parking lot, discussed a possible relocation.

“We’re in limbo,” Ms. McNeil said.

The farmers market may consider moving close to its former location in the parking lot along South Street across from JB Liquors.

The market left that lost several years ago after a petition was circulated to force it out.
It was ultimately allowed to return, but was charged a $2,500 permit fee, which then-trustee George Hubbard said was more equitable to the business community in 2012, according to a Suffolk Times article.

Last Thursday, Mr. Hubbard, now mayor, said the village had charged that fee to cover the cost of paying village employees to block the roads to vehicles — although Ms. McNeil claimed she ended up doing most of that work.

The Village Board agreed to reduce the fee to the $750 the market had previously paid.
Mr. Hubbard said it would take “very little work” to close the area to traffic. Trustee Mary Bess Phillips said the location would also be accessible from Front Street.

However, Ms. McNeil said she thinks those lots are used by nearby residents as long-term parking. She didn’t want the farmers market to take the parking away from anyone.

Both Mr. Hubbard and Ms. Phillips noted that the lot would be closed for only four hours and wouldn’t be too much trouble for residents living in the few houses nearby.

“I think there’s enough room to do it,” Mr. Hubbard said.

The market may also explore using the area near the Third Street firehouse as a staging area.

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