Farmers' Market Fears Losing Lot

9 years 8 months 1 week ago March 28, 2007 Mar 28, 2007 Wednesday, March 28 2007 Wednesday, March 28, 2007 10:38:33 PM CDT in News

The Columbia Youth Basketball Association has almost 900 kids who practice at 7 locations in town.

"It's hard to get court time in town," said CYBA President Wendell Coonce. "The schools cooperate as much as they can, but there's a lot of demand on their gym time."

So, the association wants its own building, proposing to turn the lot which houses the Columbia Farmer's Market into a permanent facility for basketball. And, Coonce said, it would also serve other puposes.

"The design of the building is such that one side can be used for sports and one side can be used for meetings or conferences or business expositions," he explained. "So, it truly will be a multi-purpose building."

But, market vendors worry what that will mean for them and their customers.

"It does frighten us," said Dan Kuebler, "because, if something like this did occur, with just another group coming forward, and somehow it happened and we were pushed off the property, that would really be devastating for the market and it would be devastating for the community, too."

The city owns the lot, so the city council will decide how to use it, perhaps as early as next week.

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