Newspaper says it’s a “Turf war”

This is the complete story from The Sun Chronicle, Sept. 20, 2001:

Turf war over Attleboro parking lot

Farmers market, library both want Saturday space

By George Rhodes Sun Chronicle Staff

ATTLEBORO – Officials from the city’s booming farmers market and bustling library are butting heads in a turf war over the parking lot used by both organizations.

The market, which has yielded a bmper crop of vendors and patrons this year as the result of a major reorganization, uses about half the city-owned lot on North Main Street next to the library.

About 30 vendors set up tents on the library side of the parking lot every Saturday between 8 a.m. and 1 p.m., with the remainder of the lot available for parking.

But library officials, who did not respond to telephone calls Monday night, claim the market is taking too many parking spaces and making it difficult for patrons to get to the library. 

They’re apparently demanding the market be closed because the permit granted by the council calls for it to continue “through the summer months” only. Summer ends on Thursday. Attleboro library officials say the farmers market, where Dick Fournier of Attleboro, above, picked corn on Sept. 3, is taking too many parking spaces. (Staff photo by Mike George)Mayor Kevin Dumas, who was out of town Monday, said a deal was brokered last week by Budget and Administration Director Barry LaCasse between market Director Heather Porreca and library Director Walter Stitt, but something went awry in the interim.

Dumas said he didn’t find out about the latest problem until he returned to the city Monday night.

Porreca said the market opened up around 10 parking spaces near the library last Saturday and it seemed to work well.

Dumas and council President Frank Cook said they plan to work on resolving the dispute today. Both want it resolved so neither organization is hurt.

“We’ll work through it,” Dumas said. “They both provide a great service to the people.”

Cook said there’s no truth to a rumor that the council is planning a vote to pull the market’s permit.

The market, which was revitalized this year through the efforts of at-large City Councilor Richard Conti and a group of residents, including Porreca, has drawn around 1,500 people every Saturday since it opened in July.

Porreca said the intent has always been to operate through Oct. 28 at the latest if the growing season was good, which it’s been.

The matter has not been an issue until now because the library is closed Saturdays during the summer.

Author: DRL

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