The county has collected a total of $45,000 in grants to build a shelter for a farmer’s market on Urbane Road, $40,000 through the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and $5,000 from the Healthy Community Initiative Committee.
The lowest bid the Buildings and Land Committee received for the project was $95,000.
The new Bradley County Farmer’s Market North will be an open-ended, sheltered building for local vendors to sell fresh produce. Currently the original county Farmer’s Market, which is unsheltered, is located on Peerless Road. That facility will maintain business during the farmer’s market season.
The initial project design included a wooden structure with a concrete base and walkway, and restroom facilities on-site. Committee members discussed cutting costs by opting for a metal building structure with an asphalt base and walkway, and possibly utilizing portable toilets during the seasonal months and the adjacent baseball field restrooms.
Committee member Howard Thompson made the motion to refuse all bids received for the project and get new estimates based on the cost-saving items discussed.
The Buildings and Land Committee has also received nearly $29,000 in “in-kind” donations from several area businesses for the project, according to committee member Louie Alford. Santek Environmental donated $11,000; Downtown Designs, (for architectural work) $2,300; Hampton’s Backhoe Services, $8,700; Lawson’s Tree Service (for clearing the site) $5,000; and Richmond Surveying, $1,750. Various other donations were also made.