Oak Creek may get farmer's market


— People driving through Oak Creek on Highway 131 will soon have a new reason to stop.

The Oak Creek Town Board approved a land-use change Thursday night that will allow proprietor David Epstein to turn the old log cabin on the southwest side of town into a farmer's market.

Epstein will be selling fruits, vegetables, plants, Western antiques, memorabilia and artwork. The plan also includes a greenhouse.

"It will look like a park when it's all done," said Epstein's partner, Annie Kayhoe.

The only problem trustees had was the lack of parking and the problems that would arise from customers parking along Main Street.

A dirt parking lot, which Epstein said he would be improving, already exists behind the proposed farmer's market lot.

Epstein said he wanted to place a rustic welcome sign "that fits the town" at the south corner of the property, in which he would lease sign space to businesses.

Trustees said it was a good idea, but a separate issue, and they will discuss it later.

In other business, the Town Board approved to pay Mayor Cargo Rodeman $800 per month; $25 per hour for 32 hours, and to be the town's official grant writer, work to create a town Web site and work on various planning presentations.

The Town Board approved the paid position, stipulating an annual job review.

If the board thinks the agreement is not working, it will not renew the position.

Rodeman initially requested to be paid for the duties in a letter to the Town Board, with all but Trustee Mike Kien approving the measure.

"I'm not sure we want to hire the mayor to do these tasks but we need somebody to write grants and Cargo has done a lot of work on that," Trustee John Crawford said.

"She is the logical one to do it," Trustee J. Elliot said. "I think it's a heck of an idea. This is a job we desperately need to have, and as long as it is producing it will pay for itself."

Kien suggested hiring an experienced grant writer instead of Rodeman.

Rodeman said she was confident she could do the job because she has been already been writing grant applications for months.

One of the most successful grants the town received was for more than $921,000 for construction of a new water treatment plant.

Public Works Director Jim Photos said there are three engineering firms the town will be reviewing for the work. Rodeman said the choice would be made by July 14 and groundbreaking for the project is scheduled for August.

Also, Jim Eskridge was sworn in to the Town Board, replacing David Stordal, who moved to Montana.

"I like what the board has been doing with the town," Eskridge said. "I want to be a part of it."


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