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09/03/2009

By Kara Herlihy

The East Warren Community Market opened its doors officially on Monday, September 1, following nearly two years of business planning by the Rootswork board.

The consumer cooperative occupies a space in the East Warren Schoolhouse on Roxbury Mountain Road.

Rootswork board member Megan Moffroid said they anticipate inventory to arrive steadily in the coming weeks and will be fully stocked and operational as soon as possible.

She estimated that approximately 100 members have joined the consumer cooperative thus far. 

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RENTS THE BUILDING

The market is run by a board of directors separate than that of the Rootswork board and has its own set of bylaws and separate bank accounts. The cooperative leases the space from Rootswork, who rents the building from the town.

The term of the lease is one year. If the lease is renewed after the year, the rent will go up. Rootswork rents the building from the town for $600 per year.

Town officials worked with members of the Rootswork board on the terms of the sub-lease agreement, which was approved at the June 9 meeting of the Warren Select Board.

Rootswork representative John Barkhausen met with select board members in March to discuss changes to the market bylaws. The bylaw changes allowed board members to participate in events, according to Barkhausen, and stipulated that no lessees sit on the board.

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TRANSPARENT

The changes would also "prevent the creation of a much larger conflict of interest," said select board chair Burt Bauchner. Bauchner said that the town would recommend that all specific financial relationships be transparent and leave no questions of monetary arrangements.

Barkhausen said the Rootswork annual report contains all the information about contributions.

The East Warren Schoolhouse was formerly occupied by Linda and Larry Faillace, who operated the Schoolhouse Market until they were evicted by the Rootswork board in October of 2007.

The eviction resulted from contention over failed negotiations between the Rootswork board and their tenants, the Faillaces, over alleged unpaid rent, which resulted in the board's refusal to renew their five-year lease.

For more information, to become a member, or to make a donation, visit www.vermontlocalvore.org/~ewstore/.

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