TELFORD — With Souderton-Telford Main Streets having merged the beginning of this year into Souderton Connects, Telford will have to come up with a new organization to keep doing the events in that town that Main Streets used to head up.
In order to do that, a new non-profit organization will have to be formed, Telford Borough Council President John Taylor, who joined the meeting by phone, said at the Feb. 16 council meeting.
"This non-profit would take care of our Telford Night Market. It would take care of the Christmas tree lighting," Taylor said. Other events include an auto show and a possible Christmas Village with Indian Valley Public Library, which Taylor said has been suggested and would be something the board of directors of the new non-profit could look into.
An event planner would also likely be hired by the organization, he said.
Start-up funding could come from the borough contributing the money it used to put into Main Streets and $5,000 that Souderton Connects put aside for Telford when Main Streets merged, Taylor said.
"It seems to me like this is needed," council Vice President Miles Arnott, who chaired the meeting, said.
He said he's concerned about the timeline, though, and whether the non-profit could be formed in time for the Telford Night Market.
"This is gonna have to happen quick, fast and in a hurry," Arnott said.
The plan is to shorten this year's Telford Night Market season to start it in June and run until the beginning of September, Taylor said.
This would be the third year for the Telford Night Market, held Wednesday nights in the Marketplace at Telford Station borough parking lot at Penn Avenue and Main Street. The Wednesday night market follows in the footsteps of the former Indian Valley Farmer's Market, which was held Saturday mornings at the same place.
The council could vote at the meeting to start the process of setting up the non-profit, but it's too soon to give a final approval, Arnott said.
"Obviously, to actually approve it, we're gonna need to look at the mission statement, look at the money, look at the board of directors, and have all our ducks in a row," he said.
It will probably take at least 90 days to set up the non-profit, and possibly longer since COVID-19 has slowed things down, James Jacquette, the borough's solicitor, said.
"Are there any other options to pull off the Night Market aside from this?" Arnott asked. "If a non-profit doesn't get formed, does that mean the Night Market doesn't happen?"
"I'd say it's very likely," Taylor said.
It's possible, though, that there are other ways of having the market this year, he said.
"We haven't really looked down that road," Taylor said.
Arnott said it might be better to work on forming the non-profit in time for events taking place later in the year, but said he'd also like to see the Night Market held.
"I hate to lose the momentum. We do have some good community momentum," Arnott said. "People enjoy this and they do look forward to it."
Taylor said he'd like to "start the ball rolling and see where we go from there." Council can then review where things stand each month, he said.
The board approved having Jacquette move forward with creating the new non-profit.
Proposed names for the organization include Telford Community Events, Telford Borough Events, Telford Happenings and Telford Today, Taylor said.
In other matters at the meeting:
• Council approved a request from the Souderton-Telford Business & Professional Women's Club to rent the Telford parking lot for this year's Locally Grown Showcase.
Borough Manager Mark Fournier said the showcase is planned for April 10 or 17.
• Alisa Buonanno was sworn in as a new part-time police officer.
Buonanno, 21, graduated from Temple Police Academy in November, Police Chief Randy Floyd said. She is a graduate of Quakertown High School, he said.