HALLOWELL — After several months of back-and-forth discussion, Ben Marcus told the Hallowell City Council during its meeting Monday night that he decided not to try to move the Hallowell Farmer’s Market to Vaughan Field.

Instead, Marcus said, the market would shift to Saturday mornings from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Public Utilities Commission lot between Winthrop and Central streets. For the last six years, the market has been held on Tuesday evenings at Granite City Park.

Marcus’ proposal to move the market to Vaughan Field Park, where he thought it would be more attractive to vendors and customers, was met with resistance from those living near the park. Last month a public discussion drew more than 40 people speaking for and against moving the farmer’s market to Vaughan Field Park, and most of those who spoke were in favor of Marcus’ plan.

“I saw the light,” Marcus said before the council meeting began. “So many people that run markets in other places told me it would have been a real hassle to have the market there because of logistics. It would have been a real pain.”

Marcus said the he would take it year by year to gauge the market’s long-term viability at the PUC lot, but he did rule out considering Vaughan Field Park again.

“I thought I’d be able to get over all the little logistical hassles everybody, including the Maine Federation of Farmers’ Markets, talked about,” Marcus said. “It just isn’t worth it in the long run.”

Councilor Kate DuFour, who lives next to Vaughan Field Park and spoke at length about her concerns about holding the market there, said there was good dialogue and general support for Marcus’ plan, but there were also rational concerns about it.

Marcus said he is optimistic about the market’s future in its new location. He said news media attention has increased attention to and interest in the market, and he is looking forward to opening at the end of May.

“We feel like moving to the PUC lot is going to be very beneficial to the market and the city in the long run,” Marcus said during the council meeting. “I’m thankful for the support or for everyone’s time, and I apologize for taking everybody on the ride.”

Earlier in the evening, the council passed a resolution naming Rick Morrow the city’s Spirit of America representative. Morrow, Mayor Mark Walker said, donates much of his time to the city’s food bank, including volunteering for regular shifts at the food bank and maintaining the cash cans at various local establishments.

“He is recognized for his outstanding achievements and efforts,” Walker said. “It’s rewarding to have community involvement that so positively affects Hallowell’s citizens.”

The council also approved a $500 donation to the Pakulski College Fund in honor of Stefan Pakulski, who died unexpectedly last month after just six months as city manager.

DuFour outlined the city’s search for Pakulski’s replacement; currently, Code Enforcement Officer Maureen AuCoin is the interim city manager.

DuFour said the city’s ambitious timeline would have a new manager appointed and approved by the May 9 council meeting. The deadline to apply for the position is April 15, and DuFour said the city has received five applications to date.

The council also spent time talking about the Water Street reconstruction project ahead of Thursday’s 6 p.m. public meeting at Hall-Dale Elementary School with the city’s highway committee and the Maine Department of Transportation. Councilor Alan Stearns said there is great concern about the affect the project will have on local businesses.

“There are scores of business owners concerned about their livelihood, and we have a generational opportunity to make sure that we don’t drive businesses out,” Stearns said. “And we will come out of this with better parking, too.”

Jason Pafundi — 621-5663

[email protected]

Twitter: @jasonpafundiKJ

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