ASHLAND – The Ashland City Council gave their blessing for a produce grower to sell vegetables, fruits and baked goods in downtown Ashland on Saturday mornings.

Teresa Kresak asked the council to allow her to set up a produce stand on 14th and Silver streets. Kresak has been a vendor at the Ashland Farmers Market for several years. But organizer Fayne Peterson opted not to organize the weekly event this year because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Ashland resident said her garden is doing really well this year and she wanted an avenue to sell what she harvests.

“I thought about doing it in our driveway, but I didn’t want to because of traffic,” she said.

Kresak said she would comply with directed health measures regarding farmers markets and other state regulations. For example, one person handles the produce, while a separate person handles the money.

Members of the city council were supportive of Kresak’s plan.

“I see no difference between farmers markets and going to HyVee,” said Council Member Bruce Wischmann.

Council Member Chuck Niemeyer said it is no different that the city giving permission for two fireworks stands to operate during the Fourth of July holiday.

“I’d love to see your market there,” he added.

The site is where the original farmers market was located until a few years ago, when organizers expanded it and moved it to 15th Street.

Kresak said she her stand will be open from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.

In other action, the council gave property owner Mike Lesley 30 days to get a bid for demolition and another 30 days past that to have the house on his property removed.

The council has been working with Lesley for over a year to abate the nuisance on his property that includes the house, numerous pickups and motorcycles and other junk. Lesley made some progress over time, but not enough to completely abate the nuisance.

Wischmann said it is not safe for Lesley and his wife to live in the house, which is why the city is planning to condemn it.

“I’m looking out for your and your wife’s best interest,” he said.

The council also approved a motion to seek bids for the demolition of the house and cleanup of the property. If Lesley does not get a bid within the 30-day deadline, the city will step in and have the work done. Lesley will be charged for the abatement.

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