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Selectmen Support Farmers Market Relocation

The Farmers Market will return for a second summer at a new location – the Milford Water Company's Dilla St. campus. The weekly event won praise from all three selectmen this month, and the Board of Selectmen joined a Planning Board member in advocating for a Zoning By-law amendment that would allow the Farmers Market to be held on a school property in the summer of 2015.

"I think last year was very successful," Chairman Dino DeBartolomeis told President Jennifer DeManche-Yohn. "We're really looking forward to a great year," she responded, noting that "traffic's a little bit of an issue." DeBartolomeis responded that he asked Police Chief Thomas O'Loughlin to check into that issue.

"It goes without saying that Dilla St. can be a traffic nightmare," the chief said. His department's most recent traffic counts for Dilla Street show that more than 23,000 vehicles use the road at an average speed of 42 miles per hour, he said. And there were 46 motor vehicle accidents during 2012 and 2013, the chief said. He will have officers watch the busy roadway and make any needed adjustments on a week-by-week basis, O'Loughlin added. "We'll keep an eye on it. It's going to be an act of waiting and seeing," he said.

DeManche-Yohn said her group had looked for a better location, but all town-owned properties are in residential zones, where retail sales are not allowed. The Milford Water Company offered its site, she said.

The Farmers Market is going to be incorporated as a "5013c" non-profit organization, DeManche-Yohn said. Other officers are John Tehan as vice president, Kathryn Mastroianni as secretary and Carolyn Kahn as treasurer. "I think this is great. It's wonderful to see a private corporation doing this. This is the structure, this is the format that you needs" Selectman Brian Murray commented.

"I find this extremely beneficial," Selectman William Buckley said. Next year, he commented, the weekly event should be moved from Dilla St. to a more central location such as Brookside Elementary School. "There should be no barrier in our zoning that prevents a Farmers market at a school location," Buckley said. Murray agreed with him. At a Planning Board meeting last month – where members voiced concern about traffic on Dilla St. – member Patrick Kennelly urged Town Planner Larry Dunkin to begin looking into changing the town's zoning to allow a school property to be used.

The Farmers Market is scheduled to open on Saturday, June 7, and run through Saturday, October 4. There will be a theme for each day, such as a strawberry festival, a senior citizen day, a cooking demonstration day, and an apple festival, DeManche-Yohn said.


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