CRC Makes Regional Unity Pitch

Published 4:39 pm Tuesday, February 22, 2011

FARMVILLE – Commonwealth Regional Council acting president and CEO Mary Hickman made a pitch to Farmville's Town Council for regional unity in the face of adversity during her presentation of the CRC's annual report.

The Town of Farmville withdrew its membership in the CRC, which is one of 21 regional planning agencies in the commonwealth, in 2009.

“This coming year, and probably for a number of years to come, the localities within this region will be faced with many struggles,” she told council members during their February meeting, that “can't be overcome alone.”

Email newsletter signup

Localities, Ms. Hickman said, “need to reach out to other groups on an issue-by-issue basis, seeking allies and building coalitions.”

But first, she stressed, “localities must reach out to each other, to come together on the many issues that (confront) them.

“That ultimately unifies them as a region,” she explained, offering “the CRC is that vehicle by which localities can come together to discuss problems of greater than local significance and encourage local government cooperation.”

Although the Town of Farmville was not a member of the Council during FY 09-10, she acknowledged, “I hope that this annual report will be helpful to you to better acquaint you with the services available.”

The CRC's staff has an average of 15 years of experience and the Town of Farmville, Ms. Hickman pointed out, has worked either directly or indirectly with each one of the current staff members.

“In closing,” Ms. Hickman told Town officials this month, “I would like to note that the organization may look a little different from when it was first created in 2005 but we have strived to continue to provide essential services for all members that are aimed at one purpose-to make the region a better place for all to live and work in.”

The CRC's member counties are Prince Edward, Buckingham, Amelia, Charlotte and Lunenburg.

The Code of Virginia specifies that the purpose of planning district commissions is to “encourage and facilitate local government cooperation and state-local cooperation in addressing, on a regional basis, problems of greater than local significance.”

The CRC has also, through its Virginia's Heartland arm, marketed the region for economic development, assisting companies looking to locate or expand their businesses in the region, in addition to promoting the region's recreational, cultural and historical tourism.

The CRC has purchased software to help the region's localities perform redistricting based on the recently-released 2010 Census results, and whether those localities are dues paying members or not.

The Town of Farmville will be working with the CRC and its software as it redistricts its own Town Council Wards and the Town Council approved a $1,000 contribution to the CRC to help offset the cost of the software.