Farmers market nearing reality in Red Springs

By Gabrielle Isaac -

RED SPRINGS — Red Springs residents looking to buy fresh produce will soon be able to shop at a larger, more permanent farmers market.

“With the help of USDA funding, there will be a 3,000-square-foot building on Fourth Street,” Larry Anderson, with Anderson Engineering, told the Board of Commissioners on Tuesday.

The addition of an open-air farmers market building has been discussed in Red Springs since 2014, but everything is coming together as Anderson presented commissioners with a floor plan that was recently sent to the USDA for approval.

The building will be 30 feet wide and 20 feet tall with open sides to allow farmers and produce sellers to drive their vehicles into the building for easier setup.

During the first phase of building, the market will have a gravel parking lot, but Anderson said his firm is looking into the cost of paving. The building will be handicap accessible with ramps and sidewalks around the building. Anderson said he believes the farmers market could bring more people into town.

The new market will be paid for with a $99,000 grant from the USDA received in August 2015. Construction was set to be complete in June of this year, but Anderson said it looks like it will take a few more months to complete.

“First it has to finish being approved by USDA and then we have to advertise, which we would recommend 30 days for, plus 90 days of construction,” he said.

In other business, the board:

— Heard from Rossie Bullock, a representative from the United States Department of Agriculture’s Lumberton office, about community facilities loans. Bullock said three loans of about $350,000 could be issued to help the town pay for a smart metering project and to put a new roof on the Dayco building.

— Voted to have a public hearing in August on an ordinance that would require dilapidated fences and walls to be promptly repaired.

— Congratulated the Red Springs 8- and 9-year-old Dixie Youth All Stars team that will be competing in a state tournament on Saturday in Stanley County.

— Presented Linda McKeithan with the Citizen of the Month Award. McKeithan has volunteered for the Red Springs Coaches Association for 28 years.

— Presented the Administrative, Public Works, Electric and Police departments with a safety award from Cherie Berry, labor commissioner for North Carolina. The recognition helps lower the cost of workers compensation for the town.

— Heard from Commissioner Murray McKeithan, who also serves on the Robeson County Health Board. McKeithan urged residents to educate their children on how to approach and act around dogs to limit attacks.

— Heard from Commissioner Duron Burney, who suggested that the town hold a fireworks show for the next Fourth of July holiday.

By Gabrielle Isaac

Gabrielle Isaac can be reached at 910-816-1989 or on Twitter @news_gabbie.

Gabrielle Isaac can be reached at 910-816-1989 or on Twitter @news_gabbie.

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