The Common Council unanimously passed a resolution at Tuesday’s meeting which asks Police Chief Greg Culick not to allow the weekly closing of a section of Main Street for Amsterdam Farmers’ Market vendors to set up tables on Saturdays from 10am to 2pm.
The resolution, sponsored by Alderwoman Diane Hatzenbuhler, claims that “businesses are being negatively impacted by the partial closure of Main Street on Saturday mornings by the Farmers’ Market.” The resolution was amended to include a cutoff date of September 26, the last Saturday of the month.
“The problem has become you have three businesses that are being impacted by their customers not being able to get to them, for various reasons, because the street is closed,” said Hatzenbuhler.
According to Market Manager Sherri Bardascini Crouse, the organization had asked for permission to use of the western half of the street from June to October. Before opening, she said that she received permission from Culick at a meeting including herself, Culick and Mayor Ann Thane. The market has been open every Saturday since June 6.
Crouse said that she would like to keep the market open through October 17.
“If they can’t wait until we finish our season, that’s ridiculous,” said Crouse.
She also disputed the idea that the closing of the street was negatively impacting businesses. According to Crouse, there are only three businesses located in the section of the street used by the market which are open during the market’s hours, and that from talking to the owners, she believes they are supportive of the market.
“The whole idea was to get people on Main Street,” said Crouse.
She also said that if market vendors had located on the sidewalks, instead of on the street, that it there would be a greater potential to block entrance ways to businesses.
Reached for comment yesterday, Culick confirmed he had given permission for the section of Main Street to be closed and for vendors to set up in the street.
In regards to the council’s resolution, Culick said be believes the next steps are now up to the mayor and corporation counsel.
“This is new territory. To my knowledge, the council has never taken such an action,” said Culick.