Plattsburgh residents concerned about relocation of farmers market

PLATTSBURGH, N.Y. (WCAX) A group of Plattsburgh residents are fired up over the planned relocation of the local farmers market to make way for a new downtown development.

With the Downtown Revitalization Initiative grant comes many projects, including moving the Plattsburgh Crafters and Farmers Market from the Durkee Street Lot.

"Do I think it was a good thing? Probably not," said Mike Canning, a Plattsburgh resident.

"This is really part of a much bigger concept," explained Plattsburgh Mayor Colin Read. He says the latest plan calls for the market to move to the Municipal Lighting Department building off of Green Street. "People would be able to access that fresh fruit and produce, etcetera, year round not just for the summer months."

City officials say the new location allows a longer season and more parking spaces for patrons. They are also hoping it will revive the downtown waterfront, making it a hot spot that visitors can flock to on Saturdays and easily accessed by the footbridge. "Maybe someday people will be able to live down there as well, parks and settings where we get a lot more people using that area -- it's a wonderful area," Read said.

The farmers market accepted the proposal. Dick Crawford, a vendor at the market, says the public will speak with their feet. "If the public does not support it then the city will not have a farmers market," he said.

There has been considerable back and forth from the public about the merits of the new location. "Just a bigger area for more vendors and just a nicer setting too. I think the waterfront would attract more people," said Cindy Yourdon of Keeseville.

"I hate change, I'll put it that way. I do hate change," Canning said.

Other residents are concerned that the market's new location is next to the city's waste water treatment plant. But Mayor Read said measures are in place to make it will not have an impact. "We're investing millions of dollars in the abatement of the wastewater treatment plant. We really want that area to be very nice and free of noise, or visual impact, odor, that sort of stuff," he said.

Regardless of the changes, residents say they will still come out and support local. "I'm not going to stop coming because of it," Canning admitted.

The city says they are doing the prep work now to have the market set up and ready to go by the start of next season.