Councilors discuss farmers market potential, approve funding for new river gauge

FORT KENT, Maine — The Fort Kent Town Council discussed options for attracting a farmers market to the town on Monday. 


The meeting was held immediately after the Fort Kent annual town meeting at the Lions Pavilion. 

Councilor Joey Ouellette notified the other councilors that several members of the public had reached out to him requesting a farmers market be instituted in Fort Kent.

The councilors discussed how in the past a similar effort took place at the parking lot across from the St. Louis Church on Main Street, most of which is owned by the St. John Vianney Parish.

A portion of the lot is owned by a private citizen.

Town Manager Suzie Paradis offered to reach out to the parish to discuss options for allowing a farmers market on the property.

The council members also discussed other potential sites for a farmers market should the church not be receptive to the idea. 

Fort Kent Police Chief Tom Pelletier suggested a farmers market could take place on town-owned land at the parking lot next to Riverside Park campground. 

Paradis recommended the town purchase an inexpensive sign to mark the farmers  market if a suitable location is identified. 

Funding for the sign, she said, could come from a marketing fund approved by voters at the annual town meeting.

The council will revisit the issue of a local farmers market at its next meeting once Paradis has obtained more information.

Also at Monday’s council meeting, Public Works Director Tony Theriault requested funding to purchase a new levee monitoring system to gauge water levels along the St. John River to assess flood risk in the town. 

Theriault explained that the new system will provide updated technology in the way of cell phone notifications to apprise him of water levels, whereas current monitoring requires town employees to be physically present to assess the water levels.

The councilors voted unanimously to approve funding for the project in the amount of $7,500. 

The Fort Kent Town Council will meet again at 7 p.m. on Monday, July 13, at the Fort Kent Municipal Building.

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