Howell council gives go-ahead to farmers market at two locations

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HOWELL – The Howell Township Council has adopted an ordinance that authorizes 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.

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Mayor Theresa Berger, Deputy Mayor Evelyn O’Donnell, Councilman John Bonevich, Councilwoman Pamela Richmond and Councilman Tom Russo voted “yes” on a motion to adopt the ordinance on Feb. 18.

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 that will be used for the farmers market are not needed for municipal purposes, according to the ordinance.

During the public hearing that was held prior to the council’s vote to adopt the ordinance, Joan Osborne, who chairs the Howell Environmental Commission, said between 10 and 15 vendors have already expressed interest in participating at the farmers market.

“I attended a (county) meeting and handed out fliers and we got a lot of interest there. The council’s support and allowing us to have it in front of this (municipal) building is going to be great,” Osborne said.

She said vendors who would sell eggs and honey, among other products, have expressed interest in the initiative.

“Kauffman Farms (of Howell) wanted to be involved, we have a few vendors that are going to be selling craft products, and as the applications come in we will keep you informed. We are looking to start the farmers market on the last weekend in May,” Osborne said.

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