A correction on my part in Tuesday’s article about the downtown West Bend Farmers’ Market as I misquoted Mike Husar with regard to the market. That was my error.
The corrected version is below.
There was a bit of drama during Monday’s West Bend common council meeting as alderman split 4 – 4 on approving a permit for the Downtown West Bend Association and this year’s Farmers’ Market.
The issue involved setting up vendor tables at the south end of the market on Main Street. Dist. 2 alderman Steve Hutchins argued it wasn’t the best use of space considering parking was at a premium.
Mike Husar, owner of Husar’s House of Fine Diamonds, supports the Farmers’ Market, however he has concerns with parking and how the vendor booths are laid out, specifically on the south end of the market which is in front of his store.
“We know the market helps downtown and Husar’s is not against the market,” said Husar. “We are upset when the empty slots are not filled throughout the entire market and there are four tents on the south end.”
Husar said it would help if the empty spots would be filled from the north, moving south.
“This expanded zone in front of our store, many weeks does not need to be there,” he said. “The vendors can be placed in open spots on the north end and when all those spots are filled then start to grow south.
Prior to the start of Monday’s meeting, Husar distributed a letter to the council asking for cooperation on the layout of the market with consideration to business storefronts that are blocked.
“How can anyone honestly say that closing access to a business does not affect business? It does and it will,” wrote Husar. “I am asking our Council to consider a restriction on the DWBA, please require them to fill up the main area of the market first and then move vendors to the south as needed. We realize the Market is a good event for the community and we ….are asking for a balance help those that benefit from the market but also help those that it financially affects.”
Dist. 1 alderman John Butschlick, Dist. 2 alderman Steve Hutchins, and Dist. 8 alderman Roger Kist posed questions about the market layout and how empty vendor spots were handled. “I do attend all the Farmers’ Markets and I bring a notepad to mark the empty stalls,” said Kist.
Butschlick asked if was possible or if it was a hardship to arrange for vendors to fill open slots in the north end. “Can vendor No. 65 move to slot No. 45,” he said.
Boone said it was something that could be arranged.
In the high season, when the market is at peak, Husar said it’s very reasonable to have all the slots filled up and down the street. “But when vendors are sporadic and out of season, there’s not reason to have them blocking off the south end.”
When calling for the motion to approve the permit Butschlick read into the record that the Downtown West Bend Association would have to fill all empty spots to the north before moving the market to spaces to the south.
Kellie Boone, events manager for the DWBA, agreed to the motion and the permit was eventually approved. Mayor Kraig Sadownikow followed up the vote asking that “Kellie be conscientious of the ongoing saga that this continues to be and please take the comments to heart.”
Boone agreed, she would work with the vendors to make sure the empty spots were adequately filled.
The Downtown West Bend Farmers’ Market starts May 21.