HOUNSFIELD — Last year, it was thought that the property surrounding the long vacant Rusted Route Bar and Grill on Route 3 would soon become home to the area’s newest farmers market.
Once his proposal had been approved, Tim Allen was free to begin the market at his discretion, but due to various personal health issues, as well as the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, he decided to wait to start the market until this year.
Now, the time has come for the 1 More Vendor, Farmers and Flea Market to take its place among the markets of Jefferson County, starting Memorial Day weekend. The property at 16902 Route 3 is 323 feet wide and 400 feet deep. Vendor spaces will be 10-foot by 10-foot spots with 10 feet between each of the vendors. There will also be a 15-foot-wide crushed stone walkway separating them.
The idea for the 1 More market came to Mr. Allen last April with the thought that more people had extra time on their hands during pandemic-related quarantines to plant and make crafts and that an open, outdoor location would be a safe environment for them to sell their goods.
“I feel real good about it, I think it’s gonna be a lot of fun this year,” Mr. Allen said. “I’m a true believer in if you build it, they will come.”
Mr. Allen said the current plan is to hold the market from noon to 6 p.m. every Thursday, Friday and Saturday, with vendor registration beginning at 10 a.m. each day. It’s preferred that vendors register ahead of market days, but spaces will be available the day of on a first-come-first-served basis.
Mr. Allen said even if the market expands its hours, it will never be held on Wednesdays, so it will not be competing against the market in Watertown along Washington Street.
Mr. Allen had some interest from vendors last year and is hoping to build on that ahead of this year’s opening day. The market is currently looking for both vendors and sponsors. Those interested may call or text organizers at 315-408-4689. So far, the market will be sponsored by B&R Tree Experts and the Friends of Sackets Harbor.
May 27 will be the market’s first day, with the Sackets Harbor village-wide yard sale coming a few days after on May 29.
A plan offered by Mr. Allen of Sackets Harbor to the Jefferson County Planning Board was discussed and accepted and will be presented at a hearing at the town barn at 7 p.m. Tuesday to gain public input.
“It feels great,” Mr. Allen said of getting close to the opening day. “I was born and raised a farmer, and this is another way to give back. We want to give a nice, safe place for people to come buy and sell their goods.”
The owner of the property, Richard Cunha, is also the owner of Good Fellos in Sackets Harbor and is good friends with Mr. Allen. When Mr. Allen approached him with his idea for the market, he agreed to let him rent the property. The site right now is a work in progress, but will be ready by opening day, and those passing by can keep tabs on the progress over the next month.
One way in which the market hopes to be able to support the community is to have the vendors vote each week on an organization that they would like to support, and then donations will be collected throughout the weekend for that particular organization.
General parking will be located at the back of the site with roughly 30 spaces for vendors on the left and about 30 spaces for the general public on the right. Handicap parking will be located to the right upon entry, and more parking can be added later if needed.
Any signage on the property will be temporary sandwich signs. Registration and restrooms will be outside of the building located on the premises. No vendors will be located inside the building at this time.
All vendors will be required to submit proof of liability insurance with a minimum of $300,000 and all vendors of food and alcohol will be required to submit state Department of Health certificates and State Liquor Authority licenses for catering and off-site sales.
In the coming days, a Facebook page is expected to be set up for the 1 More market.
The cost will be $50 per day for vendors to secure a space, and as they sign up, they’ll be added to the market’s Facebook page to give them some extra advertising.
After talking with the Jefferson County Public Health Service and the state Department of Agriculture and Marketing, a safe and effective site plan was devised in accordance with COVID-19 guidelines. There will be hand washing stations and portable travel toilets on the premises.
“There’s plenty of space and I’m making it as safe as I can,” Mr. Allen said. “There will be hand washing stations there, we will be following the rules and enforcing masking. We’re just very excited, I think this is going to be a lot of fun.”