FARMINGTON — The Board of Selectmen tabled a request Tuesday to lease the former town garage lot for a summer flea market.

Board members expressed concerns about public safety and had questions about liability insurance to cover the market.

When voters indicated their desire for the town to keep the property at the March town meeting, Nancy Porter overheard someone say, “it’s too bad the lot doesn’t have a purpose,” Porter told the board.

That started her thinking. She remembered that Bob Bean ran a flea market on the lot he owned in front of Hannaford years ago.

“People are always looking for a way to make some extra cash,” she said in her proposal to the board.

Her idea was to run the Farmington Flea Market on Saturdays and Sundays only, from mid-May to the end of September.


She offered to pay the town $700 for use of the lot over the summer. It’s an approximate amount for taxes if the lot was in private hands, she said.

She’d rent spaces, remove trash, advertise and offer half-price spaces to local nonprofit and school groups. She’s also looking for farmers interested in selling seedlings and produce.

“It’s a way for everyone to make money,” she said. “It could be a bust, it could be a good thing. I don’t know.”

She said she intends to run a clean operation with a set of rules established for prospective marketers. The cost would be $20 a day for a space or $35 for the weekend, she said.

Her intention was to designate rental spaces on the flat lot and use the small road across the property connecting Route 2 and High Street for customers to carefully drive in and park, she said.

That raised liability insurance concerns.


A lease agreement would be reviewed by the town attorney, Town Manager Richard Davis said. He expected the town would not assume liability.

Porter agreed to contact local insurance agencies to research liability and insurance costs.

Davis questioned the long-term use of the lot.

Some people have voiced a desire for the lot to be preserved as a park with picnic tables with roofs over them, Davis said.

Conservation Commission Chairman Peter Tracy suggested that a committee comprised of members of the commission and the Parks and Recreation Department, along with Davis, meet to consider options for the lot.

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