HOWELL – In a lengthy session of the Township Council, the governing body updated Howell residents on numerous ongoing projects and new ordinances for the town.
Howell Day will move forward this year on September 24, however it is not being held at Soldier Memorial Field. Instead, the event will be held at Oak Glen Park due to the renovations that will be taking place at Soldier Memorial. Oak Glen was the site for this past spring’s Easter Egg Hunt. This year’s Howell Day will include a beer tent that will likely be situated close to the many food trucks that are anticipated to be at the event.
As part of Soldier Memorial Park’s facelift, in addition to the permanent bathrooms and lighting at several fields that will permit night games, the location will be getting a new L.E.D. sign. This is one of two new signs that the township has invested in, with the second one scheduled to be installed at the municipal complex on Route 9. By purchasing two signs from the vendor at the same time, the township was able to realize a five percent discount on the signs to save additional costs for the residents, officials said.
A question about the possible return of “Movies on the Hill” was broached by Mayor Theresa Berger, but the future of that remains uncertain. The popular outing was last held in 2019 prior to the pandemic, when the township screened three free movies behind the public library over the final weeks of summer. At this time, it is still under consideration by the township.
At the Council meeting Township Attorney Joseph Clark also advised that Howell had recently taken possession of a 20-acre parcel of land that would be put into preserved property for the town. The land was acquired as part of the settlement of a 2018 lawsuit in which a congregation had sued the township when their application to build a school and dormitory along Ford Road was denied.
The site has several old buildings located within its boundaries, and these will be assessed for structural integrity. If they are found to be dilapidated or beyond repair, they would likely be placed on the list as potential candidates for the township’s demolition program.
Clark also updated the Council regarding the modernization of Howell Township’s web page by their I.T. department. The township’s web page has been mentioned at several town council meetings, with many in the governing body feeling that the site is outdated and difficult to navigate. Clark said that the refreshed website will feature photographs that will “highlight the better parts of Howell.” The Township Council will likely give prior approval of the updated website which will, according to Clark, be “more informational, more user-friendly” before it rolls out to the public in September or October.
October will also usher in the beginning of the fall holiday season, and Howell is looking to roll out both autumn and winter town-wide decorating contests later this year. The township is planning to announce a winter holidays light contest to tie in with the Christmas, Hanukkah and Kwanzaa. In addition, Howell is looking to move forward with a fall Halloween or Thanksgiving themed contest for township residents, as well.