“We have a short time line,” said Fairfax Town Clerk Judy Anderson. “I’m not sure if we can pull it off.”
The urgency surrounds the Fairfax Farmers Market, which may be in jeopardy if someone doesn’t step in to organize it.
Agricultural Institute of Marin (AIM) has run the event for seven years, but Anderson said they recently pulled out, saying it was too costly to operate.
“They said it was losing money and they didn’t want to do it again this year,” Anderson said of AIM.
AIM officials declined to comment.
In July 2012, the Marin County Board of Supervisors inked a deal with AIM to provide up to $1 million in matching funds for improvements at the Christmas Tree lot at the Civic Center, where the county and AIM would like to move both the from the nearby locations of its Thursday and Sunday farmers markets, which AIM operates.
"AIM's focus on that project combined with the cost of operating the Fairfax Market seems to be why the board decided to sever ties with our little market," Fairfax Councilman Larry Bragman said. "Our separation was amicable and town officials actually met with Brigette Moran in order to discuss the future of the Fairfax Market. Its a bittersweet ending to a very successful relationship that saw the Bolinas Park Farmers Market become an integral part of Fairfax's local scene."
Fairfax Mayor John Reed agreed with Bragman.
"Their board felt that they have grown to be a larger organization, with many projects (and employees) aiming to benefit farmers, with the funding for these projects coming largely from the management of Farmers Markets," he said. "Since only larger markets produce enough revenue to support their larger goals, they decided to give up managing our relatively small market"
“So bummed to lose Agricultural Institute of Marin as a partner for our Fairfax Farmers Market,” Fairfax Councilwoman Pam Hartwell wrote on her Facebook page. “If you know of another market manager that would like to apply Fairfax has a request for proposals.”
What Hartwell didn’t say is that time is of the essence. There’s a February 28 deadline to apply to coordinate the market and the Town Council will make a choice at its March 6 meeting — provided there’s a choice to make.
Anderson, as of Wednesday afternoon, had sent out just three unsolicited applications. One of the recipients, Monique Anderson, is at least familiar with the program. She is the daughter of AIM’s leader, Bridget Moran, and helps run one of the markets in San Rafael.
The market was scheduled to run on Wednesdays from May 1 to Sept. 25. The market is located in Bolinas Park, adjacent to the Fairfax Town Hall.
Anderson said she hopes someone comes through to save the market. “The community really likes it.”
Will you miss the Fairfax Farmers Market if it goes away? Give us your feedback.
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