The new downtown Wednesday market will include this part of Herridge Lane, along with the 500 block Hall Street and the 600 Block Baker St. Photo: Bill Metcalfe

The new downtown Wednesday market will include this part of Herridge Lane, along with the 500 block Hall Street and the 600 Block Baker St. Photo: Bill Metcalfe

Nelson’s Wednesday farmer’s market will move back to Baker Street

Public survey of 549 people clearly supports a downtown Wednesday market, city says

The Wednesday farmer’s market will move back to Baker Street this year.

At its April 5 meeting, Nelson City council reviewed information from a recent public feedback process in which residents overwhelmingly supported locating the Wednesday market downtown.

Council voted for an option that would see the market located in the 600 block of Hall Street, the 500 block of Hall (Hall Street Plaza) and part of Herridge Lane in the vicinity of Bella Flora and Black Cauldron.

The public survey was done online using the ThoughtExchange process, which asks for short, anonymous comments specific questions and asks respondents to rank the ideas of others.

Market manager Jordan Martin told council that 589 people produced 978 thoughts that were rated thousands of times. She said 114 of those participants ( 20 per cent) were business owners in the downtown core. The city’s detailed analysis of the responses can be found at https://bit.ly/3r8lUV3.

This year’s Wednesday market will be located on the 600 block Baker Street, the 500 block Hall Street, and part of Herridge Lane. Map: City of Nelson

This year’s Wednesday market will be located on the 600 block Baker Street, the 500 block Hall Street, and part of Herridge Lane. Map: City of Nelson

The clear take-away from the process, Martin said, was that respondents value the markets, and they value the downtown location because of ease of access.

Martin and other city staff, after analyzing the ThoughtExchange results, had recommended two market location options to council: Option A: the 600 block of Baker and the 500 block of Hall (Hall Street Plaza), and Option B: the same location with the addition of part of Herridge Lane.

Council chose to include Herridge Lane on the condition that it is approved by the fire department, which had not yet been consulted.

Jordan said the 600 block was chosen over other blocks on Baker because of the proximity of electrical outlets, water, and washrooms provided at Hall Street Plaza.

Councillor Janice Morrison voted against the Herridge Lane option, saying she did not want to block that alley. Councillor Cal Renwick recused himself from the discussion, and from the vote, after declaring a conflict of interest.

The Wednesday market operated downtown at various locations for several years until COVID-19 arrived. Then the city moved it to Cottonwood Falls Park so it could follow distancing rules and other pandemic safety protocols. At the park, the Saturday market continued to do well, but the Wednesday market attracted so few vendors and customers that its viability came into question, resulting in the city initiating the ThoughtExchange process.

At the April 5 meeting, council discussed ways in which the regular businesses on Baker Street could more fully participate in the market or benefit from it. This was referred to management staff for consideration and will be brought back to a future council meeting.



bill.metcalfe@nelsonstar.com

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