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Council approves Fort Kent Farmers Market location

FORT KENT, Maine — Fort Kent Town Council identified and then voted unanimously to approve a site near Riverside Park basketball court or a Fort Kent farmers market during a meeting on Monday, July 27.

 

The council first began seeking a suitable site during its June 23 meeting. At that time, 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.

“My goals as a town councilor have been to retain and attract families to help reverse outmigration,” Ouellette said. “This will ultimately broaden our tax base and lighten our tax burden. I believe there are many inexpensive ways our town can attract and retain families, and I feel that a farmers market will help support these goals.”

“A farmers market will be a great place for community members and visitors to get fresh local produce and support local farmers,” Ouellette added. 

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.

Town Manager Suzie Paradis reached out to the parish to discuss options for allowing a new farmers market on the property, but the Parish declined. 

Councilors mulled over other possible sites at their July 13 meeting. Paradis informed the council of some guidelines that must be adhered to when selecting a farmers market location. 

“By law we have to have water access for anyone, regardless if they are going to use the water or not,” she said. Paradis then suggested the site near Riverside Park basketball court.

At the meeting, the councilors approved the site although they have not yet set a date for opening the farmers market. 

Paradis will look into inexpensive signage to mark the farmers market. Funding for the sign could come from a marketing fund approved by voters at the annual town meeting, she said.

Also at the meeting, councilors unanimously voted in support of a liquor license that Barry Ouellette is seeking. 

Ouellette and his partner Steve Chabot are opening a new restaurant called Barry’s Kitchen in early August. They were also owners of the former Mill Bridge restaurant.

No members of the public spoke out against the liquor license application at a public hearing held during the council meeting.

Ouellette will still need approval from the state before Barry’s Kitchen can serve alcohol.

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