County gives Wednesday farmers’ market the green light

NORWICH – After months of debate and confusion about who should manage a Norwich farmers’ market and when, Chenango County officials have permitted a nonprofit group to continue operation of a market in East Park on Wednesdays throughout the summer, keeping the longstanding summer tradition of having a twice-weekly downtown market.

The Chenango County Agriculture, Buildings and Grounds Committee last week approved a request from Vital Vittles, Inc., a nonprofit organization that manages a winter, spring and autumn market in Norwich, to continue overseeing a market on Wednesdays during the summer.

Despite the city’s longstanding tradition of two markets per week during summer months, Vital Vittles fought to keep that tradition this year after county officials put the Norwich Business Improvement District (BID) in charge of the downtown market. Having received $5,000 from the county and a $10,000 state grant for adminstration and advertisement of its newly created “Bullthistle Farmers’ Market,” the BID announced earlier this year that it would operate the market only on Saturday’s throughout the summer, citing reasons that a one market per week model would potentially create a strong downtown market as opposed to two lesser markets.

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