Commission Approves Plan To Keep Madison County Farmer’s Market Open

MADISON COUNTY, Ala. (WHNT) — Earlier this month WHNT News 19 reported the oldest farmer’s market in the state of Alabama would remain closed until June 1 due to a financial shortfall of $60,000.

Friday, Madison County Commissioners unanimously approved a resolution providing a compromise for local farmers and those who enjoy their wares at the Madison County Farmer’s Market.

The agreement proposed to allow Kenny Brooks, owner of Brooks’ Market and current lessee of the west end of the market to continue payments but also pick up some additional responsibilities.

“He will serve in essence as interim market manager to collect the rental fees and organize and manage the farmers who would be there and allocate the space to the farmers who would be there selling their vegetables and fruits,” said Jeff Rich, county attorney.

Rich says the operation of the market is subject to the existing rules and regulations adopted by the commission as proposed by the farmer’s market board in May, 2012.

“For the past three years Mr. Brooks has paid $1,214 per month for rental of the west end space,” explains Rich. “In exchange for performing the duties of allocating space, rent collection and reporting, that rental amount will be reduced from $1,214 a month to $800 a month.”

On June 1 the market will be open five days a week from Wednesday through Sunday with hours of operation as follows:

  • Wed. – Fri. 7:30am – 4:00pm
  • Sat. 6:00am – 3:00pm
  • Sun. 8:00am – 3:00pm

Kenny Brooks says rain kept farmers from planting their crops on time this season.  He says he believes the delayed opening may be a welcome gift for local growers, after all.