Changes made to Market Days

Published 4:26 pm Friday, March 13, 2009

At their March meeting, the Downtown Development Authority (DDA) decided to limit the type of vendors that will be allowed to take part in future Downtown Market Days, attempting to transform the event into a more farmer’s market experience.

The authority voted to limit Market Days—which in past years has been held on the first Saturday of each month in Willis Park—to only vendors who sell fruits, vegetables and flowers. Members expressed their desire to keep Market Days from developing a “flea market” atmosphere and transform the event into more of a “farmer’s market.”

The event will now be called Downtown Bainbridge Farmer’s Market.

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Dit Albritton, Bainbridge Main Street director, said she would be contacting organizations, local farmers and merchants to promote the event and would like to shoot for as soon as April for the first function.

Albritton explained that local merchants not selling fruits, vegetables or flowers are welcome to set up in front of their businesses to sell goods while the farmer’s market is taking place.

During committee reports, the authority reviewed the bids they received for renovations to be made to the Nelson Building, located at 301 E. Water St., to help support and stabilize the structure. The project was re-bid in February due to a necessary piece of construction being left out of the original bid. The low bid for the project was accepted by DDA for $53,786 from Benny W. King and Sons of Bainbridge.

Facade grants

In new business, the authority discussed applying new guidelines to the application process for downtown building owners who wish to receive Facade Incentive Grants, which provide up to $1,000 per renovation project.

Chairman Al Collins voiced his opinion that the funding provided in the grants should be a percentage of the total cost of the renovation, noting that a number of the facade grants the DDA has approved have paid for the majority, if not all, of the repair/renovations.

Tom Conger expressed his desire to have all application’s renovation plans, specifically paint color and awning color and fabric of the facades, sent to the Georgia Trust for Historic Preservation—which has provided on-site consultations, design, drawings and even technical assistance in preserving and restoring Georgia cities—for approval before being awarded the grant money.

Community Development Director Amanda Glover explained that colors and style of the awnings was already requested in the application and the decision to provide the grant was in the hands of the DDA.

After further discussion of the matter, the authority voted to approve two current applications they received, as well as creating a committee to review paint and awning colors with an emphasis on color schemes to individualize each building in a complementary manner. The committee is to be headed by Conger.

The first applications from Monroe Godwin for 225 E. Water St. requesting $925 to manufacture and install a new awning cover from Awnings Plus Inc. out of Albany, Ga. The bid from the company was for $989.75. The difference between the two figures being the tax accrued for the service.

The second application was from Ron Kirkland for $854 to install a new awning at 314 E. Water St. The bid provided was from Capital Awning Company out of Tallahassee, Fla., for $854.