Ladysmith officials at the city’s All Committees meeting Monday were told an engineering firm is currently drafting plans for constructing a new farmers market pavilion in Ladysmith.
However, the start of construction appears to be at least several months off.
City officials are calling the structure, Gateway Pavilion, but they have not named any other tenants other than the Rusk County Farmers Market. It would be located at the current farmers market site, in the parking lot south of Lake Avenue between E. Second and E. Third streets.
On a 3-2 January vote, the city council narrowly approved up to $20,000 toward construction of a Gateway Market. One month later it approved a $2,870 invoice for electrical lighting materials and labor at the pavilion.
The structure has gone through several name variations during the last few weeks, but it will mainly serve as the new permanent location of the Rusk County Farmers Market.
The site where the new farmers market pavilion is to be constructed is where the farmers market operated with pop-up tents last summer in a one-year trial that was deemed a success.
The Ladysmith Community Industrial Development Corporation has authorized $25,000 of its funds for the project.
Between the LIDC and city about $47,870 has been earmarked for the structure.
The most recent design presented to council members dated August 2017 shows a pavilion-like facility measuring 126 feet long by 16 feet wide. The design also showed a $46,294 total cost, breaking down to $41,794 for materials and labor and another $4,500 for digging holes and cutting blacktop.
Vendors include area farmers and businesses, including many that are from outside the city and some from outside the county.
Mayor Alan Christianson said he would like representatives of the Ladysmith design engineering firm Morgan and Parmley the farmers market and city to meet to make sure the structure “meets everyones’ needs and expectations.”
“Do you plan on building it this summer?” Ald. Mark Platteter said.
“After the market season is done,” City Administrator Al Christianson said.
Ald. Brian Groothousen asked if the city should revisit the concept of donating its portion of the cost to the industrial development corporation and let the LIDC become the money handlers for the project.
“It makes some sense as they are putting in more dollars than the city is,” Al Christianson said.
“That way there is just one group in charge of the money and contracting,” Groothousen said.
“It takes it out of the political environment too which it probably desperately needs, like most public projects,” Al Christianson said.
Ald, Marty Reynolds said if the IDC runs the project with the farmers market operators, it is out of the city’s hands.
Ald. Bonnie Stoneberg asked if transferring the funding allow the LIDC to name it what they want to name it. “Or would it still be named the Gateway Pavilion,” she said.
Reynolds said it will still be a farmers market no matter what it is named.
“I have received comments from people that why are we building something for the farmers market when it is a private entity,” Stoneberg said.
Ald Bill Morgan said farmers markets he sees on television all use tents. “If you build a building over here, how are you going to snowplow in the winter time?” he said.