Farmers market start date uncertain during health crisis

HOWELL – Mayor Theresa Berger said that until social distancing measures associated with the 2020 coronavirus outbreak have been discontinued, Howell cannot move forward with a planned farmer’s market.

In February, Township Council members authorized property at the current municipal complex on Route 9 and the former municipal complex on Preventorium Road to be used for a farmers market.

Howell Farmer’s Market Association, LLC, will organize, manage and facilitate the creation and operation of a weekly farmers market, according to municipal officials.

The issue as to when the farmers market may debut came up during the council’s April 7 meeting.

Joan Osborne, who chairs the Howell Environmental Commission, asked if the farmers market would open on May 31 as planned.

Osborne asked if the association that is organizing the market should continue to recruit vendors or wait until mid-May to reassess the situation.

Berger responded and said, “I believe we need to wait until we are allowed to be in a group setting. So until social distancing has stopped, we cannot move forward.”

Township Manager Brian Geoghegan agreed with the mayor and said, “None of us know when this (health crisis) is going to end. I would recommend the same and I would encourage (the Howell Farmer’s Market Association) to hold off on seeking additional vendors.”