Permit problems, tax bill put stop to Dec. plans

From The Sun Chronicle 10/10/11

ATTLEBORO – Plans to move the city’s rejuvenated farmer’s market indoors next month and run it through December have been cancelled.

Eddie Porreca, market coordinator, said the decision was made to pull back and regroup after the market encountered some permitting problems last month and then discovered it could get a tax bill next year because of profit making businesses taking part in the operation.

In addition, there wasn’t enough time to ensure a smooth transfer indoors at the same time market volunteers have diverted some of their energy to school and sporting activities with their children and are getting ready for the onset of the busy holiday season.

Porreca said the markets five-year plan didn’t call for a move inside until perhaps the second or third year so there was no sense in rushing it.  

“It was never really part of our first-year plan anyway,” said Porreca, who runs the market with his wife Heather, who’s the market manager. Both are volunteers. “I think it’s the responsible thing to do.

We want to make sure our feet are firmly planted on solid ground for next year and when we move forward. We need to make sure we have a good plan and then execute that plan,” he said.

The market, which drew 25 to 30 vendors and more that 1,000 patrons a week to its 74 North Main Street location next to the library was more successful than organizers dreamed prompting them for awhile to consider a move indoors to the Masonic Lodge across the street next month.

Porreca said the group, which was organized with the help of city councilor Richard Conti is thrilled with the success of the first year.

“It took on a life of its own and evolved very quickly,” he said. “It was amazing.”

In addition to providing fresh produce for area residents, other vendors came in with a variety of products and small startup entrepreneurs used the market to expose their goods in an effort to build up patronage that could lay the ground work for an independent business, Porreca said. The market is scheduled to run every Saturday for the rest of the month from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.

GEORGE W. RHODES can be reached at 508-236-0432 or at