published Sunday, December 25th, 2011

Bradley County's Farmers Market North ready for landscaping

By Paul Leach/Correspondent
  • photo
    Bradley County Commissioners Bill Winters, Terry Caywood, Robert Rominger, Santek Environmental Vice-President of Marketing Cheryl Dunson, Bradley County Commission Chairman Louie Alford, Santek Environmental President Eddie Caylor, and Commissioner Cliff Eason.
    Photo by Paul Leach

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CLEVELAND, Tenn. -- Bradley County's Farmers Market North has received the last of its startup funding, which will be used for landscaping around the recently built pavilion on Urbane Road.

Santek Environmental, which operates the county landfill, recently donated $5,000 to the project so the final stages of groundwork could be completed in time for the market's opening next year.

"This is a good thing for this end of town," said Cheryl Dunson, vice president of marketing for Santek Environmental. "I'm glad we could help out with it."

Santek Environmental also worked with the county at the project's beginning, said Dunson, who said the waste management company provided $10,000 worth of grading work for the site when ground was broken in May 2010.

The county needs a good rural market, said Bradley County Commission Chairman Louie Alford, who has been a key proponent of the market.

Alford said no date has been set for a grand opening for Farmers Market North. He said he imagined that would not be before local farmers have produce to offer.

Although it seems likely that the Bradley County Parks and Recreation Department will oversee market operations, Alford said, matters involving the market's managing department, operating hours and other details will be decided by the county commission's building and land committee.

Alford said he also would like the pavilion to have other uses beside hosting farmers markets and staying dormant much of the year.

The Farmers Market North project ultimately will cost $75,000 before it opens, Alford said. However, he said, all funding was through grants and private donations of cash, labor or materials. None of the funding was through county tax dollars.

Farmers Market North will be a third option for consumers seeking local produce in Bradley County. The county still maintains its original farmers market on Peerless Road, established within the city in 1974. MainStreet Cleveland also organizes a downtown farmers market.

Alford said there were no plans to close the Peerless Road market, which is operated by the University of Tennessee Extension in Bradley County.

The UT Extension office was not involved in the planning or management of Farmers Market North, according to previous statements by county director Kim Frady.

Paul Leach is based in Cleveland. Email him at paul.leach.press@gmail.com.

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