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Baffling city move: Farmers' market dislocation

June 17. 2018 1:05AM

Relocating Manchester's Thursday Farmers' Market from its longstanding space may have some pluses; but its minuses are evident. Moreover, the failure of stakeholders to be consulted, or even told, of the move is baffling.

The Farmers' Market grew (pun intended) out of the For Manchester movement, one of several For Manchester initiatives to improve and enhance the downtown.

Its space near, and then in, Victory Park has been a pleasant and accessible spot. In part because of it, significant improvements have been made to the park, which is little more than a block from busy Elm Street.

The farmers originally set up on Concord Street, a block of which was closed for the weekly occasion. It was then moved into the park itself, which may have been a bad choice. The city now cites wear-and-tear on park turf as one reason for the move this year to Stanton Plaza in front of the downtown hotel.

Increased visibility is also claimed by Intown Manchester as a reason to relocate the market. That is pretty lame. The market's established location is well-known. Visible off busy Chestnut Street, it sits in front of the city library and adjacent to the Historic Association and the campus of the New Hampshire Institute of Art.

NHIA President Kent Devereaux says the school was not consulted on the move. Indeed, he heard of it from a Union Leader reporter.

Intown Manchester's idea of visibility seems pretty narrow. It might want to take another look at this issue.

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