Proposals for Land Near ARC
"There's an appreciation for the food coming straight from the garden, from the farm to their table," she said. "It's just the fresh, seasonal variety."
The market is next to Columbia's Activity and Recreation Center. And a big, empty field is next to the ARC.
The Columbia City Council has four proposals for the lot. One calls for a large, indoor market, which would house more vendors and protect them and their customers from bad weather.
"I think Columbia people appreciate this site because of a central location, and close to other activities in this area."
The city council also heard another proposal at its Monday night meeting. This one was from Positive Regional Impact Diversified Enterprise, a group that helps inner city residents. PRIDE proposes to build a three-story building for basketball courts, classrooms and other community resources.
"We believe that PRIDE's proposal incorporates everything the city wants to see on that property," said member Mary Paulsell, "and, above and beyond that, incorporates everything the community needs as well."
The third proposal calls for a basketball facility, and the fourth for an ice skating rink.
The Farmers Market is the cheapest proposal, at about $500,000. PRIDE's bid is the most expensive, at $9 million.
Gieringer said the market will adapt to whatever the council decides.
"If they had to, I'm sure they would find another place," she added. "But, I think Columbia people appreciate this site, the convenience of the location."
Columbia's Parks and Recreation Department is considering the proposals, and will recommend one at the next council meeting.
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