Despite no BID, Farmers Market will still take place in downtown Waukesha

Published on: 2/18/2013

While the downtown Business Improvement District is in jeopardy of disbanding, the Farmers Market, an event the BID was responsible for, will still go on.

Mayor Jeff Scrima said Friday that leaders of the downtown Waukesha Downtown Business Association will manage the event this year.

The WDBA is a group of downtown business owners. Scrima said the organization will undertake the Farmers Market privately at its own expense.

The group kept the Market going last fall for the remaining two months of the season when the BID became inactive after the resignations of its executive director and 11 of its board members.

Last year, the Farmers Market had more than 100 vendors along the Fox River in the Riverfront Plaza between Broadway and Barstow, a record amount.

The Farmers Market in 2012 ran from 8 a.m. to noon every Saturday from the beginning of May to the end of October.

The next step in the termination process of the BID takes place at 6:30 p.m. March 6 with a public hearing before the Plan Commission at City Hall.

When 30 days have passed from the public hearing, if 50 percent of the assessed property owners are still on the petition, the BID will be terminated. 

More than 60 percent had originally signed the petition. 

The BID has been a taxing district in downtown Waukesha since 1986.

The organization was created to recruit and retain businesses to downtown through marketing, advertising and events as well as to beautify the area. 

However, downtown property owners were dissatisfied with the new bylaws and operating plan that the new BID Board was proposing where a majority of the tax would be put toward grants for other organizations to run events in downtown Waukesha.