Wednesday | December 13, 2017
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Farmers market can return to Hakalau park

A farmers market at Hakalau Veterans Park will be allowed to resume its activities.

The market was relocated because it did not have a memorandum of understanding with the county Parks and Recreation Department and was not one of the county parks previously approved for hosting markets.

The latter was changed during a meeting of the County Council’s Parks and Recreation Committee on Thursday, per an ordinance amendment introduced by District 1 Councilwoman Valerie Poindexter.

Poindexter said she met with a leader of the Hakalau market group as well as Parks and Recreation Director Charmaine Kamaka to determine demand and need for the market.

“They determined that this was a place at this point in time that could be done as a farmers market, with the understanding that they have an MOU,” Poindexter said.

The original proposal listed six county parks to be added as authorized farmers market areas. There currently are three authorized areas — Waimea, Kona and Honokaa County Park Complex.

The approved amendment eliminated four of the six proposed parks as well as the original three areas.

“Honokaa Park is the busiest park; it’s crazy,” Poindexter said. “There’s no way you could have a farmers market there because at this point in time it’s not an appropriate park.”

The Hakalau group is working on its MOU.

“The MOU is going to be real clear that it doesn’t take parks maintenance, or need activities directors or anything,” Poindexter said. “That will be handled by the organization … it doesn’t cost the department any money.”

A farmers market at the Cooper Center in Volcano also was added to the approved list. That market previously had an MOU with the county but was not formally listed in the county code.

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