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Town moving ahead on community garden plans

WARRENSBURG-A community garden is to be developed soon in the hamlet of Warrensburg, and while the concept has general support, the placement of the garden plots - with optimum planting time now at hand - is yet to be finalized.

Discussion was held at the recent May Warrensburg Town Board meeting about locating a community garden downtown on the lawn of the town-owned building that hosts the Chamber of Commerce and town Senior Center.

At the town board meeting, there were concerns raised by Chamber representatives about losing spaces on their lawn traditionally rented to vendors for the annual World's largest Garage Sale event.

However, town board member Bryan Rounds suggested that the Chamber contact other businesses in the area to see if new, alternate sites could be used for the sale.

Warrensburg Beautification official Teresa Whalen urged that the garden be kept in town so it was accessible to the most number of people who otherwise wouldn't have a convenient plot. A portion of the produce raised in the garden is to go to the local food pantry, she said.

Town employees will soon be tilling the soil and constructing the garden beds, and town Supervisor Kevin Geraghty pledged to donate seed, Whalen said.

"We're excited about this - we'd like to see more programs come out of this," she said, noting that the Senior Center nearby could be used for cooking and nutrition classes.

Councilman Dean Ackley questioned the location of the Farmer's Market on River Street, raising concerns about pedestrian and traffic safety, noting that vehicles come to sudden stops at the market and park alongside the narrow roadway. Whalen, market coordinator, responded that the market had flourished there for 13 years with no incidents. Supervisor Geraghty replied that he will continue to work on safety concerns in the area and suggested more signage for parking locations be placed on River Street.

He noted that Curtis Lumber has been a good neighbor for the market, allowing parking in their lot nearby. He also said that with the Milton Avenue bridge scheduled to open again this summer, some of the present traffic will avoid the market.

Councilman Markey also expressed his concerns about traffic safety, but Rounds and Councilman John Alexander expressed support for the enterprise, with Rounds commenting that motorists do indeed need to slow down in that stretch of River Street.

It was decided the market will continue in its present location.

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