The Town of Sidney is once again looking for a new organizer for future Sidney markets.
The town released a request for proposals Aug. 1 for the market season starting summer 2013.
“We’re in a position where we want to get a clear start on this and we strongly believe the RFP is going to do that for us. We want to the market to move forward as a whole community,” said Sidney Mayor Larry Cross.
The new RFP, which is the second one since the town terminated the agreement with the Sidney Business Association in April and again in early July, outlines clearly that the town wishes to hire someone to run the market who will focus on local artisan products as well as the market’s ability to co-exist with merchants in the town.
“What we’ve been trying to do all along is move the market into more of a community effort where the interested parties and stakeholders have a say in what goes on. By issuing the RFP and going this particular route, not only does it work towards unifying and working with the business community, particularly the merchants on Beacon Avenue, but it will also, we’re convinced, ensure sustainability of market in the future,” said Cross.
Steve Duck, a member of the Sidney Business Development Group who earlier this year presented to council about the market’s future, says the the town’s move towards finding a new market operator is the key to keeping Sidney a shopping destination.
“Whether it’s Langford, Hillside mall or Uptown, Sidney needs to look towards being well defined in which way we’re moving our marketing to remain competitive. The Town of Sidney should be commended for looking for a proponent that wants to involve merchants,” he said. “The current market has lost the view of what’s best for Sidney as a whole and we need to get that back.”
According to the RFP, the market will continue to take place Thursday evenings on Beacon Avenue from June to August. The closing date for RFP submissions is Sept. 14 and Cross said the town aims to have a final decision made sometime in December.