A pavilion that will house the town’s first farmers market is expected to be finished this month.
The town, with a $40,000 grant from the Dockstader Trust, is building a pavilion for farmers to sell their wares at the town’s playing fields on Sacandaga Road, Route 147, just south of the village of Galway.
“It’s been a recent trend, I think, that the small towns are starting to do it,” former town Councilman Bill Topper said of farmers markets.
The grant pays for the materials, which include steel beams that are reused guardrails, as well as wooden trusses and roofing material.
Topper, who left the Town Board in December, has volunteered about 1,000 hours designing and building the structure.
“It’s taken a little longer than I thought,” he said.
And the town Highway Department has done a lot of the work with town equipment, including erecting the steel and filling and grading the site.
Also, a local teenager did his Eagle Scout project by making six picnic tables to use with the pavilion.
So the town didn’t have to pay anything other than the salaries of highway workers, who would have been on the clock anyway, Topper said.
A rectangle concrete pad at the site is 3,200 square feet, and 2,100 square feet of that is under a U-shaped roof.
A generator will provide electricity for the pavilion for now; the town is looking into getting a permanent electrical connection, Topper said.
A committee of council members Michael Tillson and Susan Sutch and some private citizens are exploring forming a farmers market to start next spring, including when to hold it and how much to charge farmers.
Vendors could fill the pavilion’s 23 bays and also set up tents in the parking lot if more people than that wanted to sell there, Topper said.
Town residents are looking forward to having a farmers market, said Supervisor George Hargrave. Many people in town grow plants, make food and produce other items that they can sell at a market.
“I think it’s a fantastic idea to have that down there. There’s plenty of parking,” he said.
And the town also will open up the pavilion for other uses, including for town residents to hold parties. They would have to reserve the time spot with the town clerk, but could use it for free, Topper said.
The youth soccer group and Galway Players Association have expressed interest in using the pavilion as a concession stand and a stage, respectively, he said.
“It is a multiuse [pavilion]; it’s not solely for a farmers market.”
The town plans to involve local schoolchildren by holding a contest to design a weather vane that will sit atop the pavilion’s cupola. Details of that contest will be announced in the future, Topper said.