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Farmers Market Committee Exploring Options for Arnold Market

Market would be a positive for the city, mayor says.

Arnold’s Farmers’ Market Committee is sowing the seeds for what officials hope will be a locally grown success.

The city has formed a committee of residents and local representatives, including the city’s offices of Economic Development and Community Development to explore various options for the project.

Mayor Ron Counts said the city’s Tourism Commission is also behind the project.

“I think it’s very positive for the city,” Counts said. “I’m personally very excited about it. If you look around, there are farmers markets all around us. We’re right in the middle of it. If we get going, we can draw those people here.”

Counts said a farmers market would harken back to Arnold’s early days, when numerous truck farms were located in the city.

Committee members recently visited several farmers markets in Jefferson and St. Louis counties, including markets in Crystal City, De Soto, Pevely, Maplewood, Ferguson and Webster Groves, to gather ideas and talk to organizers about best practices.

“It’s a pretty awesome task to really put this together and do this is right,” Counts said. “What the committee trying to do is put together the basics like location, rules and regulations.  There’s a whole lot of concerns that have to be addressed.”

Counts said addressing concerns now such as location, types of foods to include, whether to allow nonfood products and various rules and services for vendors will help prevent problems later, after the market opens.

Economic Development/Planner Specialist Dan Bish said the idea of opening a farmers market in Arnold has been around for some time.

“It’s something that had been talked about in the past and never really took off,” Bish said. “But there has been a groundswell of support for it, and it just seems like now is the right time.”

Bish said it’s hard to predict when the city might be ready to open the market. 

“We’re going to take our time and do it right,” he said. “It just depends on how long it takes to do it right.”

The next meeting of the Farmer’s Market Committee is at 9 a.m. June 17 at City Hall, at 2101 Jeffco Blvd. The meeting is open to the public.

“Anyone from the community is more than welcome to participate,” Bish said.

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