Victoria Farmers Market 2019

Bette Burris smells herbs at the Victoria Farmers’ Market in 2019.

The Victoria Farmers’ Market is one step closer to offering a second market day after Victoria County Commissioners approved extending the market’s lease to include Wednesdays during Monday’s Court meeting.

“Our membership has grown so much. The amount of food that we have has grown so much. We think our vendors can support this. We think we’ve got the customer base to support it as well,” said Meredith Byrd, the market manager.

The market has added 15 new members this year, said Byrd, bringing the total number of small farmers and vendors involved with the market to 53. And she expects the market will continue growing this year.

“We’re right on the cusp of our next big produce season, kind of our second spring,” said Byrd. “Seasonal fresh produce is by far our biggest draw.”

The market will now need to receive approval from the City of Victoria before it can begin offering a second market day, but Byrd said they tentatively plan to begin their Wednesday market on Oct. 20.

Commissioners also discussed the current state of a proposed project to use American Rescue Plan Act funding to build a permanent pavilion structure for the farmers market.

While a meeting was held about a month ago and a steering committee made up of some of the farmers market vendors was created, the project hasn’t been able to make too much progress because of questions that remain over how the federal stimulus money can be spent.

“The project certainly (has the) support of Commissioners Court,” said Commissioner Clint Ives. But questions remain over whether a ground up construction like the pavilion would be an allowable use of the funds or if the pavilion would need to be somehow physically connected to the Dr. Pattie Dodson Public Health Center.

Barbara Hybner and Annie Fojtik attended Commissioners Court again Monday to voice their concerns and ideas for the Victoria County Animal Control. The two women met with Commissioner Kevin Janak Friday to discuss their ideas partnering with local nonprofit rescues, fundraising for animal control and renaming the department.

“We are definitely working on it. I think it’s a positive. We’re able to explain to them what we can and can’t do, and they’re able to give the animals a voice,” said Janak. He said he would be meeting with David Gonzales, Victoria County public health director, this week to discuss some of the ideas and get guidance from him about what is possible.

“If a person were to ask me how far along are we on this, I would say we’re going to take baby steps with this,” he said. “Only because we don’t want to jump into something that we thought we had everything covered and we didn’t.”

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Cat writes about Victoria's city and county government. Questions, tips, or ideas? Let me know cdelaura@vicad.com or (361) 580-6511

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Cat DeLaura is the local government reporter at the Victoria Advocate. She was born in Texas, but grew up in Virginia. She came back to Texas to get her masters in Journalism at the University of Texas at Austin.

(1) comment

LEONARD SADDLER

I feel the farmers market is a great idea. I do not feel the city, county or college should be involved it.

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