Why it matters
“The Market House operates on a pretty thin line,” said Andy Walker, chairman of Meadville Market Authority. “The operating budget (approximately $280,000 for the current fiscal year) is just that — an operating budget. It has no room for capital improvements, which are obviously necessary.” Funding for basic operations comes from commissions on sales and booth fees paid by vendors as well as rent paid by three anchor tenants: the restaurant and bakery on the first floor, and Meadville Council on the Arts which occupies the second floor.
One of the building’s most immediate needs, Walker continued, is a new air conditioning system for the restaurant. Coupled with what he describes as an “increasingly critical” need for new electrical service for the entire structure — new service into the building, a new electrical panel, new submeters and new wiring — the total amount required in the near future could easily move into six figures.
“The goal is to make the Market House sustainable financially,” Walker added, noting that although the city owns the building, no tax revenue goes to support it. During the past 17 years, proceeds from A Taste of Meadville have funded improvements including new upstairs windows, a new paint job on the ground floor, and lots of plumbing improvements.
“We really appreciate all the folks coming down to support us to help keep the Market House thriving,” downtown businessman Dan Crandall, a long-time member of the committee, said. “A lot of time and effort go into this and it’s great when people come down and support it.”
From a business perspective, “The Market House is one of those things that make Meadville Meadville,” he continued. “Diamond Park, the fountain, the Academy Theatre, the Market House, Meadville Community Theatre, Meadville Area Recreation Complex — all those things make Meadville a great place to live.
“Those are the kind of things that really help employers sell the job to potential employees,” he added. “We have a great place to live.”
Mary Spicer can be reached at 724-6370 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.