The dream of a downtown farmers' market is one step closer to reality.
Mayor Alan Keck announced Wednesday that the City of Somerset has been awarded $240,000 in state money and $10,000 in Pulaski County funds through the Governor’s Office of Agricultural Policy to construct a farmer’s market structure in downtown Somerset. The city will use matching funds of $250,000.
The new multi-use farmers' market will be located in the old Food Fair parking lot downtown.
“I am grateful to the Governor and the Office of Agriculture Policy for the matching funds," said Keck. "It will greatly help our efforts in downtown development and with community events in our effort to bring people to downtown Somerset."
The structure will have an indoor-outdoor concept that will allow it to be used year-round for many community events in addition to selling locally grown produce in season. The facility will use off-hours parking or the Energy Center for additional parking.
“In addition, the project helps us recognize our community’s agriculture roots which is still alive and well in and around the city,” said Keck.
On Monday, the Somerset City Council passed a resolution authorizing Keck to negotiate for the purchase of the land on which the farmers' market will sit.
The matching money is from the Kentucky Agriculture Development Fund. The fund which is administered by the Governor’s Office of Agricultural Policy made more than $1.6 million in Kentucky Agricultural Development Funds through this round of funding. These grants represent an investment by the Commonwealth of Kentucky for agricultural diversification and rural development in 21 areas across the state.