Calls for changes to West Side Market after long-time vendor leaves

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CLEVELAND (WJW)– Another longtime and popular vendor has left the historic West Side Market.

After 36 years, Turczyk’s Meats announced on Facebook this weekend they were closing the family business inside of the iconic building on West 25th Street in Cleveland.

Michael Turczyk thanked all of their loyal customers and wrote it was a hard decision, but that he had to think of his family and that the city left him no choice. He cited, “A total lack of management” and the, “Deplorable conditions” caused in part by a crumbling, leaky roof and ongoing plumbing issues.

Turczyk wrote it’s, “totally unacceptable” especially when they, “Raise the rent every year, raise the license fees, raise the taxes, screw up the parking lot, and parking in general” referring to the new fees to park.

After learning about Turczyk’s sudden departure, Ward 3 Councilman Kerry McCormack renewed his calls for, “Immediate and bold action” to save the West Side Market.

“We’ve got to invest in the market, we’ve got to ensure we’re supporting our vendors,” McCormack said.

On Tuesday, McCormack said council already allocated $2 million for the year 2020 and an additional $3.5 million for next two years.

“We will use every penny of that to make sure the electrical system’s up and running, the roof is in good shape, and the doors are working,” McCormack said.

Additionally, they’ll be looking at ways to better market the iconic market and possibly adjusting operating hours to better fit customers’ needs

He said they’d also like to see management switched from the city’s control to a not-for-profit, similar to how things are managed at public markets in Columbus, Cincinnati, Los Angeles and Detroit.

“That gives you an opportunity to have more a versatile operator that can go in there and meet the needs of the market, and it is really only focused on the market and not part of the bigger city structure,” McCormack said.

It remains to be seen if that change will happen, but McCormack and vendors said something needs to happen soon so that this historical, architectural wonder can continue to thrive in Cleveland.

More stories on the West Side Market here

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