MONTGOMERY – John McMillan today announced developments that could result in keeping both State Farmers’ Markets open. As a result, McMillan, Commissioner of the Alabama Department of Agriculture & Industries, said the facilities will remain open at least another week to give interested parties time to work out details. He released the following statement earlier today:
“Since last week’s announcement that we would have to close the Coliseum and Fairview Farmers Markets for budgetary reasons, several individuals and organizations have come forward to offer ideas that may allow the markets to remain open. We are grateful for the community support for these markets and interest in allowing them to operate.
“One of these options for the Fairview Market is with the City of Montgomery. The City has offered to lease a small portion of the market space for a police presence and allow the market to continue operating in the majority of the space. The lease payments, combined with other cost-saving measures, will allow the Department to operate the markets in a manner that does not rely on taxpayers to subsidize the operations.”
“Officials with our Department are also in discussion with business interests and current tenants at the Coliseum Market who have offered to lease that facility. Their lease payments, along with reassignment of Department staff and other cost-saving measures, will allow that market to operate without a drain on taxpayer dollars.
“We will continue to explore all of our options regarding both markets. As the Department is carrying this out, we have decided it is in the best interest of all concerned to allow both markets to remain open for a minimum of a seven-day period while we hold these discussions.”