Tuesday, March 27, 2012
Two weeks after the village board was set to extend the French Market contract, members unanimously shot it down to give Front Street merchants their shot at running a downtown market.
After 10 years, the French Market at the downtown Metra lot is no more, but the village is hoping a group of Front Street merchants can keep a market running in Mokena. "We now know what the French Market was like and now, as I understand it, we'll have a chance to see what something else is like," Mayor Joe Werner said during Monday's village board meeting. During the meeting, the board discussed whether to extend the contract with Bensidoun Inc. to run the French Market. The 10-year contract expires this spring. The board was set to vote on a five-year contract extention at its meeting two weeks ago. But after an often-heated, two-hour debate decided to table the measure until the next meeting to give a chance for more public comment. At…
Tuesday, March 20, 2012
A group of downtown merchants presented their plan for a Front Street market to replace the French Market up for contract renewal next week. But can they pull it off?
In anticipation of a village board vote next week on renewing the French Market contract, a group of Front Street merchants on Monday presented their own plan for a downtown market. Group spokesman Tony Dina of Dina's Barber Shop said the group believes they can prepare a farmers market to run along Front Street from Wolf Road to Division Street within four to six weeks. "It may not be exactly what we would like it to be, but it would be something and something is better than nothing," Dina said. The presentation, which was prepared Sunday when the business owners and village board Trustee Don Labriola met at Dave's Auto Sales and Service, was made to a board considering the fate of the 10-year-old French Market. A five-year extension of …
Wednesday, March 14, 2012
With the village board holding off on a decision about the French Market for two weeks so residents can weigh in, what do you think about the downtown event.
The Mokena Village Board on Monday decided to hold off on a five-year contract extension with Bensidoun Inc. to run the Mokena French Market so residents can weigh in at next week's work session. The work session will be held at 6 p.m. March 19 at Mokena Village Hall, 11004 Carpenter St. Read up on the issues in these past stories, then weigh in on what you think the market's future should be. So what do you think? Take our poll below to weigh in. Sign up for a Patch user account to add your ideas to the comments below.
Tuesday, March 13, 2012
After more than two hours of discussion Monday night, the village board voted to delay a decision on the fate of the French Market so residents could weigh in. Here's what made the talk so hot.
After a two-and-half-hour, hotly argued Mokena Village Board meeting, board members voted to hold off on the contract with the Mokena French Market for two weeks so the community can weigh in. Watch village video of the two-hour debate. Click on "Extension of license agreement with Bensidoun, U.S.A." The two-week delay, approved 5-1 with Trustee George Metanias the sole vote against, will give residents a chance to weigh in at the March 19 board work session at village hall on whether to extend the contract for five years The board will vote on the issue March 26. This means Mokena might not make it on the application farmers, grocers and other vendors will use to plan their 2012 season, Assistant Village Administrator Kirk Zoellner said…
Here are the cost reductions vendors could see under the proposed contract extension for the Mokena French Market.
This story is a companion to "Hot Talk But No Decision on French Market," about the debate over whether to renew Mokena's contract with the French Market. Part of the proposed contract extension with Bensidoun Inc. to run Mokena's French Market would move Mokena to a different tier on Bensidoun's price scale. This would put Mokena's market on the same level as Bensidoun-run markets in New Lenox and Homewood. Here are the prices, taken from the contract Bensidoun provides all potential vendors. Contract provided to Patch by Mokena village staff. All rates are per week. Full-time vendors sign up for all 26 weeks of the market. Part-time vendors pay per week. Go back to "Hot Talk But No Decision on French Market."
Thursday, March 8, 2012
Cheaper rent for vendors and more community involvement are some of the changes the village negotiated in a new, tentative contract with the French Market.
Cheaper prices for vendors and more promotion of the French Market as a place for neighbors, not just out-of-towners, could be features of the next five years. Or Mokena could see three years of an empty Metra lot. The village recently brokered a five-year contract extension with Bensidoun USA, the company that runs the French Market at the downtown Metra lot in summer. The contract is tentatively set for a board vote on Monday. The contract signed by the village 10 years ago has a three-year non-compete clause. That means if the current board wanted to go with another company than Bensidoun, they couldn't hold the market in the Metra lot until 2015. "If you're going to have a market and have it be someone else, you're going to have to …