The Saranac Lake Village Board of Trustees will reconsider a previous decision to reject a parks use request by the Adirondack Farmers' Market Cooperative.
At Monday's regular board meeting, numerous members of the public spoke out against a decision earlier this month to deny a proposed Tuesday farmers' market in the Riverside Park.
Trustees turned down the parks use request at the urging of Nancy Moriarty, owner of the Lake Flower Bakery.
Moriarty told trustees that she was not opposed to the market, but asked that it be approved with the stipulation that a baker not be present. She says that as a taxpaying business owner, having a baker across the street would not be fair.
Mayor Clyde Rabideau voted against the request, stating that he had to listen to a "direct appeal" from a local business owner.
But several residents disagreed with the board's decision on Monday.
Beth Bevilacqua told trustees having a second farmers' market is "only good for the community."
"I'm extremely disappointed with your decision," she said.
Others, like Adrian Black and Alan Brown, said there's a lot of support for farmers' markets. Brown said the board should not be protecting businesses for the sake of competition.
"That's not how the free market system works," he said.
Jason Brill told trustees that the increased foot traffic generated by the farmers' market is "good for everyone."
Jo Ellen Saumier attended Monday's meeting as a representative of the Adirondack Farmers' Market Cooperative. She said the board's decision has "unintended consequences."
"First of all, I think you need to realize that the people you're hurting with this are the seniors who take the bus to the Tuesday market," Saumier said. "You may think they could use their coupons at the market on Saturday, but if they don't have bus transportation, they can't get there."
Saumier says there's a misunderstanding that the farmers' market is getting a "hand out" from the village.
"We are not asking for free space in the park," she said. "We were told when we made the application that there was a park-use fee. We're willing to pay that and we understand that things like the grass need to be cut. We're very willing to pay the park-use fee."
At the end of the meeting, Trustee Jeff Branch asked the board to revisit the issue at a special meeting next week. He says too many people have spoken out against the decision and that the board needs to listen to the public.
For her part, Moriarty submitted a second letter to the board, stating that she was not opposed to the Saturday market.
She also took exception to an editorial that appeared in a recent edition of the Adirondack Daily Enterprise. She says vendors set up in her parking lot last year were not competing with other merchants.
Monday's special meeting is set for 5 p.m. at the village offices.