Sunday, November 17, 2013

Sustainable Glasgow's Boldest Idea Yet

On the occasion of its fifth anniversary, the board of Sustainable Glasgow, Inc. announced plans to seek funding to purchase and renovate a large unoccupied building on the Glasgow Square. The bold plan they revealed is to acquire the building  at 124 South Public Square, which was formerly the home of the Western Auto Store and most recently PJ’s College of Cosmetology. The building would be converted into a permanent home for Bounty of the Barrens Farmers’ Market and an indoor food-court for the marketing of fresh local farm products and farm to table prepared foods.

Sustainable Glasgow President, Dr. Jerry Ralston, revealed the conceptual plan for the building  and stated, “The board and volunteers  who make up Sustainable Glasgow are very excited to present this plan to establish a garden of opportunity right in the middle of Glasgow, and we hope that it will flourish and that more hope and excitement will grow on the Square at the very center of life in Glasgow.”

Immediate past President of Sustainable Glasgow, Dr. William Travis, expanded on the concept and the economic incubator nature of the plan. “I believe that our downtown can become a livelier, more attractive, and more pedestrian friendly place. We have hope for more restaurants and local businesses to find the public square an attractive place to locate. We want this facility to become a catalyst for the realization of those goals by building upon our local food movement activities and the highly successful history of the Bounty of the Barrens Farmers’ Market.”

The SG board has applied for a matching grant from the Kentucky Agricultural Development Fund which they hope will provide 50% of the funds necessary to acquire and renovate the building. .The other half of funding would need to come from local sources that have an interest in establishing this anchor point for the future of Glasgow’s downtown economy. The plans include space for a variety of vendors, a full commercial kitchen and cold storage for produce to be retailed by vendors in the facility, as well as wholesaled to local restaurants, hospitals, schools, and other institutions.  Producers can cost-effectively use the Kitchen to add value to their products by canning and converting fresh produce into products which have a longer shelf life.

President Ralston added “Sustainable Glasgow has a dedicated group of volunteers who are passionate about this community and are striving to improve it for everyone. We composed a very high quality application for the Kentucky Farmers’ Market Competitive Grant Program and we are optimistic about our chances to receive funding. But for the initiative to be successful we must find local supporters who share this passion for making our local economy more durable, improving the livability of our community, and are motivated to donate money to match any grant funds we receive,” . The total estimated cost of getting this dream to become a reality is about $300,000. Therefore, Sustainable Glasgow is seeking to raise half of that from citizens in the community who believe this project is worthwhile.

Sustainable Glasgow, Inc. is a 501-C3 non-profit organization which may provide tax advantages to those who choose to support this project.