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Home​NewsA Safer Market Within Reach

A Safer Market Within Reach

Christmas came early for the Eastern Market community this spring as Erik Salmi, Deputy Chief of Staff for Councilmember Charles Allen, waited for a quorum to form for the monthly meeting of the Eastern Market Community Advisory Committee (EMCAC) held May 29 at the North Hall (225 Seventh St. SE).

According to Salmi, earlier in the day Allen secured the funding to keep the capital projects affecting the market moving forward as well as to have full-time security once again available on weekends.

In a word: the bollards were back.

The security bollards, which would prevent vehicular traffic from the north and south ends of Seventh Street, SE, from North Carolina Avenue SE to Pennsylvania Avenue SE, and from north to south along C Street SE, as it intersects with 7th Street SE.  These, EMCAC argues, are necessary for protecting the Market from vehicle ramming attacks.

And they are back in the budget after the first of two votes by the Council held earlier the same afternoon.

Salmi told EMCAC that Allen managed to secure funding for weekend security at the Market which was cut as a result of COVID budgets but exists now, Salmi said, “in perpetuity.”

The bollards were due to be installed last November but were cancelled with no explanation. Many took it as a troubling sign that those responsible in the Eastern Market community did not take this issue seriously.

EMCAC raised the issue more than a few times in its deliberations.

Salmi also thanked EMCAC Chair Chuck Burger and long-term member Monte Edwards, crediting their hard work and testimony as vital in securing this legislation.

EMCAC members responded with a robust round of applause.

Manager’s Report

Department of General Services (DGS) Market Manager Barry Margeson reported that revenue is strong as he laid out numbers for the first half of the year.

If the actuals hold up market revenue of one million dollars is within reach.

“The first half actuals are $405,000 but the numbers are even more ahead than that,” Margeson reported.

Margeson indicated concern about revenue for outdoor venues, noting that the exhibitor line has had rain every just about every weekend in April and May.

However, the North Hall continues to contribute significant growth. Margeson said that rentals have raised $250,000 against  $200,000 budget.

Rumsey Aquatic Center

In another positive development, Burger announced that funding has been approved in the District’s FY 2025 for a major project to renovate and upgrade Rumsey Aquatic Center (635 North Carolina Ave. SE). Plans also include a second story senior community center.

$25 million was originally allocated to this project but funding was increased to $36 million with the additional story. Burger cautioned that project development would take some time and that pool closure is not imminent. Burger said that there will be considerable community engagement with the whole process. That process is likely to start in the fall.

Peter J. Waldron is a long time resident and former Chair of ANC6B. Waldron has been reporting on the Eastern Market for fifteen years and can be reached at peter218@prodigy.net.

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