B-U Farmers Market Association president Donnie Tenney, pictured above, attended the June 23 Consolidated Board meeting to ask the board to designate two extra spots at Jawbone Park during the allotted Farmers Market time slot. / Photo by Monica Zalaznik

Influx of farmers’ market participants in 2022 prompts president to ask for additional parking

BUCKHANNON – The Consolidated Public Works Board voted to allocate two more parking spaces for the Buckhannon-Upshur Farmers Market during Festival Fridays.

Buckhannon-Upshur Farmers Market Association president Donnie Tenney attended the June 23 Consolidated Board meeting to ask the board to designate two extra spots at Jawbone Park during the allotted Farmers Market time slot. He also asked the board to restrict parking in the Jawbone parking lot during their Wednesday hours from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

“We’ve been encouraging more people to be involved in supplying produce locally, and fortunately, it’s working; we’ve had more people sign up as farmers’ market vendors. We’ve had 12 so far who have signed up,” Tenney said. “They’re setting up on Wednesday, and our farmers market hours are 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Wednesday and then 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Friday, and one of them sent me a picture when the whole parking lot was full — and I think a lot of it is from the construction at the post office.”

The CPWB recently restricted parking in the Jawbone parking lot on Fridays, starting at 2 p.m., to make room for the Festival Friday vendors, and Tenney asked the board to extend this policy to their market hours on Wednesday.

“We want to request that you’d put a sign up that says, ‘No parking on Wednesday for our farmers market hours’ and designate saved spots because it’s been very effective for Friday,” Tenney said. “Because in the past, we’ve had a terrible time with people parking there and not being able to find them to move.”

“We just request the same type of sign be put up for Wednesday, so that we have those spots designated open for the farmers market,” he added.

Mayor Robbie Skinner asked director of finance and administration for the City of Buckhannon Amberle Jenkins if they could simply add the Wednesday hours to the current signage that was made for Festival Fridays, and she said that would not be a problem. Skinner told Tenney that although the city can designate the spaces, there’s no official mechanism to enforce the policy.

Buckhannon mayor Robbie Skinner discusses Jawbone Park parking with B-U Farmers Market Association president Donnie Tenney. / Photo by Monica Zalaznik

“We don’t have anything in writing in any ordinance anywhere that designates spaces down there; this is all verbal, this is all just a gentleman’s agreement … that the farmers market is going to utilize a certain number of spaces on certain number of days, so we do not have any mechanism to truly enforce it,” Skinner said. “We can keep on going like that and add the other spaces, but what we’re saying is our police department our parking enforcement officer has nothing to go back on to say this space is specifically designated for the farmers market, it’s not written anywhere.”

The board voted to give the farmers market their requested additional spaces and agreed to alter the signage to include restricting parking during their Wednesday hours.

“We just have an agreement that you use a certain number of spaces during certain [days and times], and we’ll all try to get along fine — I’m fine with that, it’s worked this far — so let’s try it,” the mayor said.

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