Millville Town Manager Debbie Botchie on Nov. 22 presented more information regarding starting a farmers’ market based at the town hall during the spring and summer months.
“I see it as a service to the town,” said Botchie of the town starting the market, during her presentation at last week’s council workshop. “I see it as a service. You bring the people here. Hopefully, they’ll shop here, have lunch here.”
Botchie said that she found two possible grants, from the U.S. Department of Agriculture and Delaware Division of Parks and Recreation, which would help the town with initial funding for the market.
She also met with Dan Costello, the market master, of the Bethany Beach Farmers’ Market, to discuss how the market is run.
“He’s very excited that Millville would entertain this idea,” she said of Costello. “He said that the markets, they all kind of work together to support each other… He feels we would have a successful market because it is a weekday — we’re looking at Thursday. We’re not down in the beach traffic [and] we have a larger area for the growers to be.”
Responding to council’s previously-stated concerns, she reported that each grower must have their own liability insurance.
Councilman Jon Subity asked Botchie to look into whether or not there would be some kind of liability insurance required for the Town if market attendees park at the Millville United Methodist Church across the street.
Botchie said that various area farmers’ markets are organized differently. She noted that the Bethany Beach Farmers’ Market charges $15 per vender per week and charges the vendors the money for the season upfront. She said Costello reported that, in the case of the Milton Farmers’ Market, the market also provides vendors with tables and tents for the season. She said that Costello noted, however, that most growers have their own tents and setup supplies.
Botchie said the Town would be looking into making the market a true farmers’ market.
“We want the growers to be growing. No arts or crafts, or a flea market.”
Botchie said that she had also spoken to Councilwoman Joan Bennett, who agreed that, eventually, the Town should look into erecting a pavilion on the property, for both the market and other Town use.
Subity said that, although he is not opposed to the town eventually constructing a pavilion, for the time being, he’d like to see how the market does and set up a multi-year plan to chart its growth.
“I think it’s a good idea. I like the idea of the farmers’ market,” said Subity. “I think we should move forward with it.”
Council requested that that Botchie schedule to have David Smith of the Delaware Department of Agriculture visit during the town council’s January workshop, so that the council can get more information.