The Fort Scott Farmers Market group met Thursday evening to review 2017 and look to this season possibilities.
The market sets up stalls in front of the Fort Scott National Historic Site at the north end of Main Street starting in May on Saturday mornings from 8 a.m. until noon and Tuesday evenings from 4-6 p.m.
It continues until October.
Market stall fees are $5 per day and there is a $5 application fee to reserve a vendor space. Or there is a discounted fee of $4 per day if pre-paid in the amount of $108 for the 27-week market space.
A new president of the market was elected, Stacey Atkins.
Beverly Brown was re-elected as treasurer.
Atkins was the secretary in 2017 and that position is still open.
In 2017 the group facilitated:
Breakfast on the Bricks, where customers can purchase a breakfast on Saturday mornings while attending the market.
Several demonstrations of interest to the community, such as CPR and rain barrels.
Tuesday evening strawberry shortcakes social.
Once a month raffle drawing, starting in June, with market vendors contributing goods for the prize.
The Third Saturday Marketplace, working in collaboration with the City of Fort Scott, the market moved to historic downtown on Main Street once a month.
Special music that entertains while customers stroll through the market.
The group is looking for honey producers, at the request of community members.
Group member Vickie Shead said she has some honey but production has been difficult with the drift of herbicides that have helped to decimate her bee population.
Traditional offerings of this market are veggies, fruit, eggs, crafts, jellies/jams, baked goods, herbs, live plants, nuts, and pottery.
This year Fort Scott Kiwanis has offered to do Breakfast on the Bricks the first Saturday in May, according to Mickie Kraft, a group member.
Group member Ronnie Brown told about the Bourbon County Food Alliance that he is a part of.
“They were talking about how they could help us, possibly furnishing entertainment, breakfast, public relations, and help with the business part,” Brown said. “They want to see this farmers market extended.”
Brown also mentioned Project 17, which is a regional economic development and community engagement initiative in the southeast region of the state, according to a K-State website.
“Bob Marshall helped initiate it,” Brown said. Marshall was a Kansas Senator from 2009 to 2013.
“Local food is a by-word now,” Brown said. “There is a lot to look forward to, a lot of enthusiasm.”
Newly elected President Stacey Atkins told the group about a program through a Pathways Grant that is seeking input from local food producers.
“On May 3, a Buy and Sell-Meet and Greet will be at 5:30 p.m. at Memorial Hall,” Atkins said. “This meeting will be to bridge the divide between local gardeners and retail food sellers.”
A local helping agency provides both a need and a want.
The Bourbon County Inter-Agency Coalition provides rent/utility bill assistance and additionally, family passes to the Fort Scott Municipal Swimming pool in the summer, with help from United Way of Bourbon County.
FortScott.Biz is featuring each agency that was granted funding through United Way.
The contact person is Billie Jo Drake, her phone number is 620-223-5946 and email address is bjducktracks @gmail.com
What service do you provide for our community?
“We have two programs: rent and utility bill assistance and the family pool pass project.”
When are you open?
“We have no office or office hours. People who are in need of assistance make their requests through the Beacon (Phone, 620-223-6869 · Address. 525 E 6th St; Fort Scott, Kansas 66701.) Pool pass applications can be obtained at Buck Run Community Center Phone, (620-223-0386 · Address. 735 Scott Ave; Fort Scott, Kansas 66701) in the spring.”
What percentage of your budget is the United Way grant?
“It varies depending on other grants and donations, but this year it will be about 20 percent.”
Who are the board members?
Doug Altic, Bob Eckles, Sue Emmons, Shana McClure, Tisha Miller, DeAnn Welch, and Billie Jo Drake.
Craw-Kan Telephone Cooperative, Girard, is extending its’ “Fiber to the Home” network into the city limits of Fort Scott.
“We will be offering ultra-fast fiber optic internet up to 1 gigabit, high definition cable TV services, and phone service to residences and businesses,” said Zach Adams, Manager of Marketing and Customer Service of Craw-Kan Telephone Cooperative.
“We will be providing better, faster, more reliable services using the latest technology at extremely competitive prices,” Adams said. “We will not require residential contracts and do not charge equipment rental fees or installation fees on new customers.”
Internet pricing starts at $50 per month and cable TV packages as low as $39 per month, Adams said.
For current pricing and packages see the business website www.ckt.net
“We are already hooking up customers in select areas and taking orders in Country Club Hills and along Indian Road and West 23rd Street,” Adam said. “Keep an eye on your mailbox for notification of availability in your area!”
Craw-Kan is hoping to expand its customer base and the size of its network footprint, he said.
The current plan is to finish the main trunk line loop through the city and begin building in some neighborhoods along the way.
“Later this year we plan to begin building in the historic downtown district and industrial parks,” Adams said. “Next year we plan to announce a larger scale expansion that will reach a large number of residents.”
” We have served a large portion of rural Bourbon county for a long time,” Adams said. ” This is an extension into the city limits.”
The fiber is 100 percent buried, so there is no weather interference, Adams said. ” It is optic (light) rather than electrical so there is no electrical interference. It is a dedicated link, so no sharing with other users. It provides the most bandwidth available into the home – no speed restrictions based on distance. It is low maintenance and highly reliable – nearly 99.95% uptime. “
For more information, contact Craw-Kan Telephone Cooperative at 620-724-8235
USD 234 is making preschool for students a priority, according to Nicki Traul, director of curriculum.
“We are very fortunate that students have many opportunities for preschool in Fort Scott,” she said. “This initiative isn’t to compete with those other preschools.”
Many kindergarten students have not had any early childhood opportunities, Traul said.
“Our expansion is so that we can find those students and get them in a program,” she said. ” The district wants to see that every USD 234 child gets at least one year of preschool prior to starting kindergarten. We need all the preschools in town to be able to do that.”
Traul is attempting to contact all preschool providers in town to establish an early childhood professional learning community.
“It helps us as a district to work with the other preschools,” she said. “Why wouldn’t we want to help each other? ”
In an effort to collaborate with other Fort Scott preschools, Traul has organized a meeting.
Invitations will be sent to area preschools for representatives to meet at 1 p.m. on April 12 in the Fort Scott Middle School Community Room.
Sandy Ellsworth, Greenbush Early Childhood Department, will facilitate the meeting.
The community is welcome to attend.
“We are excited at the opportunity to work with others in our community and the good that will come from that,” Traul said. “Our students need to be our focus and our priority, as a community we need to support early childhood and help each other.”
The USD 234 preschool is located at 409 S. Judson, in back of the former middle school.
Traul said the USD 234 plan is to carve out classrooms from an existing gym at the preschool.
The gym is partially used for the cafeteria and storage currently.