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Howell council schedules public hearing on plan to create farmers market

HOWELL – The Howell Township Council will hold a public hearing on Feb. 18 on an ordinance that will, if adopted, authorize property at the current municipal complex and the former municipal complex to be used for a farmers market.

Howell’s current municipal complex is at 4567 Route 9 North and the former municipal complex is at 251 Preventorium Road.

Mayor Theresa Berger, Deputy Mayor Evelyn O’Donnell, Councilman John Bonevich, Councilwoman Pamela Richmond and Councilman Tom Russo voted “yes” on a motion to introduce the ordinance on Feb. 4.

According to the ordinance, Howell Farmer’s Market Association, LLC, is organizing, managing and facilitating the creation and operation of a weekly farmers market for the benefit of residents regarding the consumption of healthy, locally grown food and to benefit local producers of food.

The ordinance states that “thousands of persons will benefit from the public
purpose served by Howell Farmer’s Market Association activities” and that those activities will “promote the health, safety, morals and general welfare of the Howell community.”

Council members have signed on to the idea of facilitating the creation of an open air farmers market for the sale of locally produced fruits, vegetables, dairy and other natural products. They said establishing a farmers market will allow Howell to claim additional points as part of the Sustainable Jersey certification initiative.

The parcels on Route 9 and on Preventorium Road are not needed for municipal purposes, according to the ordinance.

Berger said she is excited about the farmers market. She thanked Township Attorney Joe Clark and Joan Osborne, who chairs the Howell Environmental Commission, for their efforts on this initiative.

The mayor said Clark and Osborne “worked tirelessly with the team, they are incorporated, and we are hopefully going to be using the area of the old town hall. That would be so wonderful because the area needs some re-gentrification and we are hoping to use that space and have a great event during the holiday season and during the summer when we have the farmers market there.”

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