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Farmers' market finds new location

| Tuesday, April 5, 2016, 11:05 p.m.

The Tarentum Farmers' Market will be in a new location when it opens June 1.

On Tuesday night, council approved moving the popular market from First Presbyterian Church's parking lot at the top of Lock Street to lower Corbet Street.

Borough Manager Mike Gutonski said that because the market was held on church property, he and other borough officials thought it was a church-sponsored event. Gutonski, who is in his first year on the job, said he recently found agreements between church officials and the borough that related to the borough having insurance coverage for the event, indicating it was in fact borough-sponsored.

“After talking with the mayor and council members, we thought it would be a good idea, seeing as how it is a Tarentum activity, that we should move it back to the streets of Tarentum,” Gutonski said.

The new site will be on Corbet between Third and Fourth avenues — likely the widest street in town.

Gutonski said one problem with the new location is that it does not offer the heavy traffic flow that the church parking lot did with traffic to and from Harrison and Brackenridge on East Tenth Avenue.

However, Mayor Carl Magnetta said the new location would be better because it offers more parking in nearby downtown lots.

He said at the previous spot, people parked right along Lock Street or in the MedExpress parking lot and had to cross busy Tenth Avenue. Magnetta said he feared that someone would get hit by a car.

Councilwoman Carrie Fox said that despite the move, the market should do well because it is popular and people will look for it.

Still, she said, signs should be put up around the borough to direct people to the new location.

Two borough firefighters raised concerns about the market adversely affecting fire operations.

Robert Stoebener of Highland Hose and Brad James of Eureka Hose said response routes by the fire companies go through that area.

They said the companies do a lot of route planning to provide the best service and response times.

“We use Third Avenue and Corbet Street as staging areas for mutual aid,” James said.

Gutonski and Magnetta assured the firefighters they would be able to use Corbet for emergency response.

According to Gutonski, the vendors and the crowds will be kept on one side of the street.

The crowd will be kept to that side by some type of barrier such as emergency tape but will be able to cross the street without fear of traffic.

“It's not going to be covered, curb to curb,” Gutonski said.

He said the barriers blocking off Corbet can be easily moved for fire trucks.

“We felt this will be a safer place,” Magnetta said. “I'll tell you one thing. If there is an emergency, I will guarantee you: You'll be able to get your trucks through.”

The farmers market is held every Wednesday from June 1 through Oct. 19 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Tom Yerace is a staff writer for Tribune-Review. Reach him at 724-226-4675 or tyerace@tribweb.com.

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