Cumberland Times-News

Local News

April 10, 2013

New Polish Pines owner wants to end farmers’ market lease

Produce pavilion will be moved to new spot

KEYSER, W.Va. — The new owner of the Polish Pines along U.S. Route 220 is asking to absolve the lease with the local farmers’ market and the market will be moving to another location, which is still to be determined.

The Mineral County commissioners received a letter from the new owner, who lives out of the area and plans to develop the land, said Commissioner Jerry Whisner during a meeting Tuesday.

Stacey Huffman, West Virginia University Extension Service Mineral County agent, who was representing the Mineral County Farmers Market Association, questioned whe-ther the letter said anything about keeping the pavilion. Mike Bland, county coordinator, indicated that it did not.

“That was one of the questions I had, whether there was any interest,” said Bland.

Bland said he needs to obtain the original lease from Anne Palmer, executive director at the Mineral County Chamber of Commerce, and that he thought there are provisions in it to move the pavilion.

“There were provisions, to my recollection the contract was good until 2015,” said Huffman. “If they were to void that contract before then, there was a certain amount of money that was to be alloted.”

Huffman said she was unclear if the contract was null and void because the ownership of the property had changed hands.

Bland suggested that the Keyser Assembly of God, along U.S. 220, might be willing to let the farmers’ market use its lot temporarily. The market could potentially move to the parking lot of the health department and then once work is completed on the vacant lot behind the health department it would likely move there, noted Huffman. Another possible location is the parking lot of Tractor Supply located along U.S. 220. A decision on where to have the farmers’ market will need to be made before the first sell date on June 7.  

When the pavilion was built about 12 years ago there was a fund set up with the chamber of commerce for maintenance of the building, with $600 a year from the association, and that money was never used, according to Huffman. Huffman questioned if she could get that money and use it toward the cost of moving the pavilion. The commission agreed to contact Palmer to see how much money is available for the pavilion and to request that money.

During the meeting, questions arose about who would be required to insure the farmers’ market. At one point, the commission insured the pavilion. Huffman agreed to check on insurance quotes.

Dave McGee, vice president of the farmers’ market, stressed its importance, noting that it has the most WIC and senior vouchers used in the state.

Contact Elaine Blaisdell at eblaisdell@times-news.com.

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