SARANAC LAKE - The Harrietstown Town Council gave the AuSable Valley Grange the go-ahead Thursday to use the town hall for its farmers market through the end of the year.
The board's unanimous vote came after town Councilman Ron Keough said the market's organizers answered all the town's questions about the operation, which will involve 10 to 15 vendors using the upper and lower lobbies of the town hall from roughly 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturdays from Oct. 20 to Dec 29.
In a Sept. 4 letter to the town board, AuSable Valley Grange Vice President Sam Hendren said the Saturday farmers market in Saranac Lake, held in Riverside Park, is "now the largest and most successful 100 percent producers market in the Adirondack region and is currently in its most successful season ever with hundreds of area residents shopping and enjoying the market weekly.
"The Grange now hopes to build on the success of the summer market by extending the season through December," Hendren said.
The Grange will have to pay a $250 event fee for each Saturday it uses the town hall. Keough said the money will cover a portion of the time and expenses the town will incur by keeping the building open that day, including staffing, heating and utility expenses.
Earlier this month, Harrietstown supervisor candidate Tom Catillaz requested the town board consider allowing the Grange to use the town hall as its fall and winter location for the farmers' market. In fact, Catillaz submitted a letter to the town the same day Hendren sent his letter.
Town board members shrugged off Catillaz's involvement in the request after their meeting Thursday night. Keough noted that he had approached Grange members two years ago asking if they were interested in using the town hall. Keith Wells, who's serving as the communications manager for Catillaz's opponent, town Councilman Bob Bevilacqua, said he also discussed the idea personally with Hendren when he was board president of the Saranac Lake Area Chamber of Commerce.
Contact Chris Knight at 518-891-2600 ext. 24 or firstname.lastname@example.org.