Sidney develops roundtable for summer market scrutiny

Beacon Avenue businesses encouraged to give feedback by Feb. 8 to prepare for Feb. 22 discussion on Thursday night market

Staff from White Spot serve up chowder at the 2009 Sidney Summer Market.

Staff from White Spot serve up chowder at the 2009 Sidney Summer Market.

The summer market’s a go for Sidney, assures the mayor. What it may look like is the question.

“There will be a market on the main street in 2012. The question really is what will it be its physical format,” said Mayor Larry Cross.

“We are proceeding now to arrange for the discussion with stakeholders.”

Earlier this month, council approved in principle altering the configuration for the popular market that runs down Beacon Avenue on Thursday nights June through August. The change would only come after consultation with business stakeholders and the Sidney Business Association, the group that runs the market.

Susan Simosko of the town’s Community Development Commission will facilitate gathering and compiling information between now and Feb. 8, and then building a focus group.

That group will meet to discuss the purpose of the market in order to address the issues, including the layout of booths on Beacon Avenue, the type and variety of vendors and what the entry requirements are for those vendors.

“We want it to be an exciting and rewarding experience for the public,” Cross said. “And make sure we do some attending to local businesses … that they view this market in a positive way.”

That discussion is scheduled for Feb. 22 from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. at the Shoal Centre in Sidney. It will include the Chamber of Commerce, Sidney Business Association, vendor representatives and citizen representatives.

After that meeting council will be in a better position to entertain a request for the market to operate, Cross said.

“It’s good for the town,” he said. “The thing is there may be ways we can make it better for everybody.”