What’s in store for the Parkville Farmer’s Market? –
Officials get feedback, discuss options
For decades, the Parkville Farmers’ Market has been the perfect outdoor gathering space for farmers to sell their farm-fresh seasonal vegetables and artisan goods directly to customers. Anecdotal evidence suggests that the iconic wooden structure in the parking lot near English Landing Park in downtown Parkville was built by the Amish.
But on April 28, the remarkable wooden structure was damaged when a box truck hit the east end of the building. Less than two months later, on June 13 to be exact, a semi-trailer truck slammed into the north end, rendering the structure unusable and inoperable.
Since then, the Farmer’s Market operation has been temporarily moved to just west of its original location. The tents now house half a dozen vendors selling various selections of produce and homemade treats.
On Wednesday, July 13, the city hosted a joint working session with aldermen and the Community Lands and Recreation Board (CLARB) to discuss the future of the Parkville Farmer’s Market and the structure replacement process. Chris Cline, Senior Manager of Confluence, provided his expertise in planning and replacing the extremely vulnerable Farmers’ Market structure with a new, well-designed facility.
Unlike the original Farmers’ Market structure that was established in 1984, Cline’s vision extends far beyond a mundane Farmers’ Market. A possible new facility could include both indoor and outdoor spaces, restrooms and protected storage. Cline also floated the idea of adding additional amenities to add a bit of interest, including outfitting the structure with power outlets, raised surrounds, a drinking water source, and ceiling fans.
Several aldermen have indicated they want to reduce it, expressing their preference for affordability over abundance. Due to the iconic charm of the original structure, several aldermen questioned whether a total replacement was really necessary.
Cline cited a recent study that strongly indicated that the damaged structure was beyond repair. Although two insurance settlements will likely help pay for some of the monetary cost of rebuilding, it is believed that they will not sufficiently cover the cost of a complete replacement.
“We are currently in the process of determining the replacement cost with the insurers of these two trucks. It may take a bit of time to go through this process,” Cline said. “It’s probably quite difficult to go with one insurance company, but you have two trucks that damaged the same structure and trying to decide what percentage each insurance company should pay (this will take some time.)”
The town is prepared to explore the idea of moving the Farmers’ Market to another location, based on the council of aldermen and the committee’s response to questions about the potential for its relocation. In fact, the city’s updated master plan calls for moving the Farmers’ Market west from its current location.
BBN Architects will assist in the architectural design of a new Farmers’ Market structure. Along with replacing the Farmers Market, Confluence will partner with GBA to provide streetscape improvements and improvements along the freeway. 9.
The city plans to complete the new structure by June 2023. But before construction, which is tentatively expected to begin next January, Mayor Dean Katerndahl said there will be a process of engaging residents. On Wednesday July 20 and Saturday July 23, the public is invited to visit the Farmer’s Market to fill out a questionnaire and give their opinion on the Farmer’s Market. In addition to last Wednesday’s joint business meeting and the Farmers’ Market kiosk, a public meeting will be held on Tuesday, July 26 at City Hall.
“We will be capturing all of these entries through August 3,” Cline said. Once a summary of entries is compiled, the next step will involve reviewing all available design concepts, from wood and steel to new features and amenities.
During the joint meeting, the aldermen took turns sharing things they love about the iconic Parkville Farmers Market. Its exterior setting and ease of access were mentioned as admired features.
Prior to the adjournment of the meeting, Sheryl Bierman of Parkville took to the podium to emphasize the importance of considering the cost of replacing the Farmer’s Market structure.
“I often said to the council of aldermen: ‘let’s not put the cart before the horse. Let’s make sure we have the funds to do what we want to do before we start these extended plans, then we’ll be stuck with an extended plan that we can’t afford. We don’t want to spend all that Parkville tax like Mayor Katerndahl said. We have some things that we have in the park that we need to take care of. We have a new master plan that we need to work on because the citizens of Parkville have said, “Platte Landing Park needs to be passive. How do we make it fit with that?
“We’re going to balance a lot of things here,” KaterndahL said. “Time – we’d like to open it as soon as possible, but we want the public to commit to it – plus money.”