Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Sustainable Glasgow’s Plans for Downtown Indoor Market

It has been two months since we first announced our plans to acquire an unoccupied building on the Glasgow Square and renovate it as a place to house the Bounty of the Barrens Farmers’ Market year round. Since many local folks have been so happy with this plan, it is time for us to give everyone an update.

Unfortunately, Sustainable Glasgow’s initial grant application to the Kentucky Agricultural Development Fund was rejected. We knew we had a great idea and that we had assembled a quality application.  But the KADF rejected our idea on the basis that Sustainable Glasgow does not have the estimated $150,000 in matching funds which would be required to receive the matching grant.  All of us associated with Sustainable Glasgow knew this was an issue, but we felt that it should not stand in the way of KADF’s consideration of our project. We felt that if the state agency awarded us the grant based upon our success in raising the matching funds, the community would have readily contributed the necessary funds in order to breathe this new life into our square. Apparently, we were wrong about that, but we certainly are not about to give up!

We are more convinced each day that our vision for converting an old building into a place where our local food economy can be nourished, while our local farmers and chefs can nourish us, is the answer to many of our woes. We feel that the establishment of a venue for local food that can be open many hours each week, a place where folks can walk or cycle to a destination, where we can communicate with each other and enjoy the bounty of our land, is worth our extraordinary efforts to secure.

Our next steps include requesting local government to allocate funds toward this project in their upcoming budget cycle, meeting with advisors on the creation of a sustainable business plan for the acquisition and permanent operation of the facility, and refining our renovation plans to get a much better handle on the real costs of providing this facility for the people of Glasgow. We are not giving up; in fact, we are just getting started. Stay tuned and keep letting us know your feelings on this initiative.

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