Federal aid for market

The receipt of a $20,000 federal grant to help further develop the local farmers’ market is good news for both the market and downtown New Albany.

After a study is conducted to determine the best way to improve the market, the Appalachian Regional Commission will provide up to $20,000 to help implement it.

New Albany was one of nine grant winners among 63 applicants in 13 states.

Several officials were on hand to present the grant including Earl Gohl, the commission’s federal co-chair, Guy Land, his chief of staff, and Matt Dalbey, director of the Environmental Protection Agency’s Office on Sustainable Communities.

Gohl said his job will be to listen to local officials’ ideas and then determine how best to use the money to get them implemented.

The commission’s state program manager, Mike Armour, had praise for New Albany’s progress:“I have seen this town transform over the years. This place has something happening. Jill Smith has one of the best museums in the nation,” he said.

The farmers’ market has grown in attendance and expanded its offerings since moving from locations at the fairgrounds and the county courthouse to the vacant lot at the foot of downtown.

Although $20,000 is not a major amount of money when it comes to development, this federal aid to New Albany should help make at least a noticeable difference in the farmers’ market area.
It’s another step in the continuing progress of our historic downtown area.