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Will Long Beach Farmers Market move to Town Green?

PHOTO COURTESY LONG BEACH FARMERS MARKET 
 The Long Beach Farmers Market is currently located in the parking lot of First United Methodist Church on Pine Street.
PHOTO COURTESY LONG BEACH FARMERS MARKET The Long Beach Farmers Market is currently located in the parking lot of First United Methodist Church on Pine Street.

LONG BEACH -- The Long Beach Farmer's Market may have the option to move for the second time in a year.

The city's governing body, the Long Beach Board of Aldermen, will discuss allowing the market to move to the Town Green, which is city-owned property, on Jeff Davis Avenue.

The market currently is located on the property of First United Methodist Church on Pine Street, which is a few blocks off of Jeff Davis, the city's main downtown street.

It is only open on Saturday mornings.

Ward 1 Alderman Gary Ponthieux will bring the discussion before the board during Tuesday night's meeting.

"We've always wanted to see them come back to Jeff Davis," Ponthieux said. "They're tucked away on Pine Street and this would give them more exposure."

He said the move would be a "win-win" for all involved.

"I've talked to the businesses downtown and they are all for it because of the foot traffic it would create," Ponthieux said. "There's a real synergy on Jeff Davis."

But is the market looking to relocate to the Town Green?

"We are very happy where we are," said Dita McCarthy who runs the Long Beach market.

McCarthy said she had been approached about the notion of moving the produce market, which started behind Bankhouse Coffee before moving into the parking lot of J. Levins Builder on Jeff Davis before finding its current home on Pine Street.

The market has been in existence since 2010.

"I didn't even know this was on the agenda and I'm not sure why it's on the agenda -- I really don't all of the details about it," she said.

On the Facebook page for the Long Beach Farmer's Market, McCarthy posted a statement Monday. According to the post, the Town Green option had been explored in the past. The vetting, McCarthy said, left several unanswered questions regarding moving to the city-owned green space, among them a concern over other activities in the park.

The Town Green hosts several events throughout the year, including a large Christmas market during December.

Ponthieux said the farmers market would just incorporate into the other events.

"The farmers market could just become a part of the events," he said. "They may have to move around the Town Green during these events, but it would still give them a lot of exposure."

Ward 6 Alderman Alan Young said he would support the move.

"This is a big part of Long Beach and it will give them more space and more parking spaces," he said.

McCarthy reiterated that the market is "very happy where it is," but she said she would not rule out discussing another move.

"We love where we are and we haven't even been there a year -- we haven't even seen what we can do there during the peak of the season," she said. "But if I had all of the details and logistics, I would be willing to look at the proposal."

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