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Renovations, new Market Manager to make Oneida County Public Market bigger and better

By KATRINA SMITH

UTICA, N.Y. (WKTV) - The renovations are complete at the Railway Express Agency (REA) wing at Union Station in the historic Bagg's Square in Utica.

However, that's not all that's new.

The site will now house the Oneida County Public Market, kicking off its 2012 season on Saturday, May 19. With the renovations, the event will be both a large farmer's market, as well as serve as a community center.

Oneida County Executive Anthony Picente announced on Thursday that not only were the renovations complete, but the public market now had a manager to guide it on its path. Beth Irons, who formerly worked at The Utica Zoo will take the position of Market Manager.

Irons says she's excited about all aspects of the project.

"It's going to be successful on a number of levels," she said. "It's going to help revitalize the area, as well as the Bagg's Square area and redevelopment of spaces in Downtown Utica.

The historic site of the market in Union Station is no stranger to hustle and bustle. The REA wing served as a transportation hub where rail deliveries came into the community from the time it was built in 1914 until the 1960's.

When the trucking industry replaced rail transportation in the 60's, the wing sat empty and has been vacant for almost a half century.

On Thursday, Picente unveiled the newly renovated wing, saying it will be a much better first impression for visitors to the region.

"People come out of here 24-7," he said, " And as they do, they'll see the improvement and they'll see what the community has to offer."

The market kicks off May 19 from 9 a.m. - 1 p.m. And will be in full swing every Saturday from June 16 until September 29.

The fall and winter schedules have yet to be announced.

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