CLEVELAND — The power was out at the West Side Market Saturday morning, and while many stands had to close for the day, some stands that can operate without power chose to remain open, according to a Facebook post from the market.
The power had been restored when News 5 crews arrived after noon, but power was still out at 11:16 a.m. when Cleveland Public Power sent an update on the market. They have yet to confirm the cause of the outage.
West Side Market vendor Kate's Fish tweeted that the power has been out since 1:30 a.m., and was apparently briefly restored at some point Saturday morning, only to go out again.
When the power was finally restored, it was too late for vendors who sell perishable items, like Kate’s Fish and D.W. Whitaker Meats.
Owner Don Whitaker, who is also the president of the West Side Market Tenants’ Association, said he shut down his stand around 10 a.m. to prevent his products from spoiling.
He said the market’s generator only powers emergency lights and he’s been asking the city for a new generator that will power refrigeration and the HVAC system for three years. He said previous presidents have also asked for a new generator.
Whitaker said the city claims it can’t get a new generator until the building’s electrical issues have been repaired. Whitaker said they’ve been pushing off those repairs for years.
Back in May, the city allocated $2.1 million in repairs and upgrades to the market, which includes the electrical system, but Whitaker said so far the city hasn’t followed through.
“Now they've got the greatest excuse in the world. Everything is because of COVID," Whitaker said. "I just want an administration that can get stuff done, not talk about how they can't get it done."
Earlier this year, the city of Cleveland hired a consultant to work with architects and engineers to address the aging infrastructure. After his review is complete, he will give the city a list of recommendations.
News 5 reached out to the city of Cleveland for comment but has not heard back yet.
@clepublicpower where are you? The @WestSideMarket has had no power since 1:30 this morning and you’re still not here. A light steady rain is not a severe weather even, so what exactly is the hold up? @CityofCleveland make a phone call somebody please help. @KerryMcCormack1— Kate's Fish (@KatesFish) July 17, 2021