City Okays Farmers Market

By David Howell

WATER VALLEY – Although a tentative decision had already been reached, Water Valley Aldermen formally approved allowing a farmer’s market to operate on Main Street during July and August on Saturdays.

    That decision, as well as a vote to adopt an ordinance allowing a portion of tickets issue to fund Yalobusha Crime Stoppers were the topic during a recessed meeting held last Friday morning.

    These two items were approved after City Attorney David Burns outlined the legalities for the board.

    Burns said the farmer’s market met the requirements of a 1975 ordinance, that was amended in 1979, that allowed civic organizations in the city to set up a vending booth in the city.

    Burns said the farmer’s market, which is sponsored by the Water Valley Main Street, should fall within the ordinance. Aldermen then voted, 3- 0 with Lance Clement absent and Fred White abstaining, to allow authorize the farmer’s market. Produce at the market will be limited to Mississippi growers.

    Burns also said he would update the 1979 ordinance to bring it up to date.

    “What was good in 1975 and 1979 may not work now,” Burns said.

    Anyone who is interested in selling produce at the market can contact Justin McGuirk, who is the event coordinator, at 662-801-9273.

    In the second item of business, aldermen approved an ordinance that will allow the city to assess a dollar for each misdemeanor violation issued by the Water Valley Police Department. This does not include parking tickets.

    Burns told aldermen that he had prepared the ordinance, which will go in effect in 30 days.

    Before a vote was taken, Alderman Charlie Harris told aldermen he felt that the charge should be two dollars.

    “I think the board already voted on a dollar,” White said, adding that everyone knew that he was against Crime Stoppers.

    “All of you know I am against Crime Stoppers, that is not a secret,” White said.

    A roll call vote taken by Mayor Bill Norris found Sherry Martin, Tommy Swearengen and Harris in favor of the ordinance.

    “Capital no, with big letters,” was White’s response when Norris asked for his vote.

    Aldermen also agreed to look at the program, year by year, to see if they needed to designate more or less money to the program. The maximum amount the city can give is two dollars per violation.

    The meeting adjourned with parting words from White.

    “Do y’all realize we are financing the campaign for these guys to get elected?” he asked, pointing to Crime Stoppers and the Economic Development Foundation, which were not mentioned at the Friday meeting.

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