Bluffton panel recommends a-tax money for farmers market, merchants society

gsmith@islandpacket.comFebruary 5, 2013 

File photo

Geraldine Thurnau purchases some organic produce and gets reacquainted with Farmer Joe King, who was manning the Clark and Sons Organic booth, at the Bluffton Farmers Market.


The Farmers Market of Bluffton and the Old Town Bluffton Merchants Society are likely to get help from the town of Bluffton to market their organizations.

Tuesday, a town of Bluffton committee voted to give the market $29,500 for the year and the society $9,800 for the quarter in accommodations tax money, proceeds from a tax levied on overnight lodging. The money must fund programs that promote tourism and attract visitors to the town.

Bluffton Town Council will consider the committee's recommendations and have the final say. Council members vote each quarter on which organizations to give the money.

"We're trying to push our presence into the community and this (money) really helps make that happen," said Kathy Shamblen, president of the market who said the funds will pay for advertising and police who block off Calhoun Street for the weekly event.

This marks the first year the market has been open nearly every Thursday year round, and the money will help get the word out, Shamblen said.

From now through March 14, it is open noon until 4 p.m. each Thursday.

The Old Town Bluffton Merchants Society will use its money to promote a Feb. 15th Winter Art Walk and other upcoming events, said Mary O'Neill of the society. Art Walk participants can meet local artists and check out galleries, restaurants and shops in old town.

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