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Shepherdstown, W.Va. mayor wants town more involved in farmers market

October 10, 2007|By DAVE McMILLION

SHEPHERDSTOWN, W.Va. - The Shepherdstown Farmers Market that has operated for years here has been a successful enterprise, but there have been complaints about some food being sold there possibly not meeting standards or some of it possibly not being locally produced, officials said Tuesday night.

Some prepared foods might not be up to federal standards or some food possibly might have come from outside the country, officials at a Shepherdstown Town Council meeting said.

People who go to the market do so because they want locally-grown food and organic offerings, officials said.

Mayor Lance Dom said some are concerned about vendors being told what they can and cannot sell at the market, which squeezes out competition.

Although some vendors believe the town should not be involved in the market, Dom said he believes it should.

Dom proposed that a resolution be crafted for consideration that would allow a farm market committee have jurisdiction over issues like selection of vendors.


Dom said he would work on the resolution with Clarissa Mathews, chairperson of a farmers market committee that was formed this year to examine market issues.

Dom said he does not want the town to be "heavy handed" in its oversight of the market, but believes some town involvement is necessary to "look after the town's interest."

In the past, there has been a vendors association which operated the market, Dom said.

This year, a "hybrid" group of vendors and the farm market committee has been involved, Dom said.

With the issues that have arisen, town council member Neal Martineau said some were worried that the existing group of vendors might leave the market, but that has not happened.

If a new way of overseeing the market is adopted, Dom said work on it needs to begin now so the new plan can be ready to be implemented in February when market operations start getting into gear.

The Shepherdstown Market operates on Sundays behind the Shepherdstown Library along German Street.

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