Farmers market measure dropped

Pine Bluff Mayor Debe Hollingsworth has withdrawn an ordinance she had aimed at prohibiting sales of produce and homemade crafts and foods except at the Saracen Landing Farmers’ Market.

The ordinance, sponsored solely by Hollingsworth, received its second reading at the city council’s July 15 meeting and was tentatively scheduled for a third and final reading and vote at the council’s net meeting on Aug. 5.

Hollingsworth said Friday that her decision to pull the measure was based on opinions voiced to her by a number of residents stating their preferences in purchasing goods from “familiar, trusted vendors” operating at sites more convenient to their places of work or residence.

“We also desire additional dialogue with members of the Farmers Association on their wants and needs,” she said. “In its conception, the Saracen Landing Farmers’ Market was intended to provide farmers a central location to display their produce in a central location for retail purposes.

“Additionally, our goal was to create a fun, community environment for prospective buyers,” she continued. “The farmers market was one of the primary reasons for constructing Saracen Landing.”

Current regulations require individuals to acquire a city license from Collector Albert Ridgell and also obtain permission from property owners to establish commerce at their chosen locations.