A battle has been brewing in La Mesa over the new location of the farmer's market in La Mesa Village and now the city is planning to spend tens of thousands of dollars to help fix the problem.
“We want to make the village a win-win for everyone here,” La Mesa City Councilmember Colin Parent said.
Councilmembers voted Tuesday night to approve the Village Enhancement Fund, a plan to use $40,000 in revenue from parking meters and parking permits in the Village to help fund marketing or new fun events that would help benefit businesses struggling because of the Friday night farmer’s market.
“What these new funds will allow is make up and do events on other nights so new customers can come to make up for business that some of those businesses feel like they’re losing on Friday nights," Parent said.
Craig Maxwell, Owner of Maxwell’s House of Books, is one of the business owners who says he’s been impacted by the market.
“People try to come to the store on Friday night. It was our best night of the week, evening of the week, and the farmer’s market made it our worst," Maxwell said.
Just a block away on La Mesa Boulevard at ACT II Ladies Resale, Deanne Ross says the farmer’s market is financially fruitful.
“It brings so many people to the village and you may not be busy that night. But you'll be busy in the future,” Ross said.
Regardless, Maxwell wants to see the farmer's market moved a block away to where it has been in previous years.
In the meantime, he’s hoping the enhancement fund will help close the book on his farmer's market woes.
“It sounds like city is thinking seriously about alternatives to what we now have and that’s good, it's positive. Sounds like it's going in the right direction. I’ll keep my fingers crossed," Maxwell said.
Councilman Parent says they'll leave it up to business owners and non-profits to submit applications for what types of events they'd like to see in the village.
Online, one person suggested a jazz festival. Maxwell says that would be a good idea to help his business. Parent says the funding should be available for any proposed events later this year or early 2020.
A vote on the future of the farmer’s market is also scheduled for later in July.