Downtown PKB won’t run market

PARKERSBURG – Downtown PKB will not take over management of the Downtown Farmers Marketplace, a goal established when the group was created last year, officials said Friday.

The organization doesn’t have the resources, Executive Director Carrie Nesselrode said.

“While Downtown PKB wants to be involved with the Farmers Market, we do not have the resources, man or funds, to really be in that position,” Nesselrode said.

Downtown PKB was formed in September as a spinoff of the Downtown Taskforce. Officials said the entity would eventually take over planning of events such as the Taste of Parkersburg and the farmers market.

Mayor Bob Newell said with the market, that simply never happened.

“They never did take this one over,” he said. Instead, officials within the city government helped with the planning and management of the market.

The city recently acquired the building at 113 Ann St. near Point Park, which will be renovated for the farmer’s market. When that building is finished it will become the permanent home of the summer and winter markets, as well as many vendors.

The city also is moving toward creation of a new community resource coordinator to directly oversee the summer and winter markets and help plan the permanent marketplace.

“With this permanent market, it is going to have to be governed similar to Capitol Market in Charleston,” Newell said. “We are going to have to set up a non-profit board and a permanent manager. It is too much of an undertaking to be run by committee.”

Newell said the state agricultural commission also will be heavily involved with the project, which moves it further outside the scope of Downtown PKB.

“The farmers market was around before the Downtown PKB came about,” he said. “The thought at the time was for Downtown PKB to take over management of that, but since then the focus has turned more toward a permanent downtown marketplace.”

Nesselrode said the move toward a permanent market was outside the scope of Downtown PKB, which has focused on promoting and encouraging development within downtown Parkersburg. The group is planning to showcase several downtown buildings for development and is working with the city to create an online database of available downtown buildings.