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No LU In CRC, Again

FARMVILLE – The Commonwealth Regional Council's membership request to Longwood University, asking for the University to re-join the regional planning organization, was received and will not be accepted, according to a letter sent from Longwood President Patrick Finnegan.

“In the letter, unfortunately, they have stated that they will not be able to renew their membership to the CRC this year,” informed Mary Hickman, CRC acting president and CEO, to the Council members. “However, as you can tell from the letter, they were very receptive with finding opportunities and ways the Council and Longwood could work together…”

The CRC is in the process of requesting dues from members and asking those that were once part of the organization to re-join by participating and paying the $15,000 in dues for the 2012-2013 fiscal year.

According to the response received related to Longwood not being able to re-join, the letter states, “Unfortunately, due to continuing financial constraints, Longwood University will not be able to re-join the Commonwealth Regional Council. Our limited resources must be devoted to maintaining and enhancing academic and student life at the University while keeping costs affordable for our students.”

Ms. Hickman presented the letter for information to the Council's members last week during the CRC's regular monthly meeting. The meeting was held on April 5.

The letter goes on to state that the University is involved in the local community and region.

“Our faculty, staff, and students are engaged in the Farmville Main Street project and the Longwood Center for Visual Arts' programs for children, just two examples of local involvement in Farmville…”

Longwood students are required to have an internship or research project in order to graduate, so there may be opportunities where our students could do an internship or research project and at the same time provide a much needed service for you or one of the local government members. Additionally, the Longwood Small Business Development Center offers many services that can be utilized by the local and regional communities.”

The CRC is one of 21 regional Planning District Commissions in Virginia. The purpose of the Planning District Commission, as set out in the Code of Virginia, is to encourage and facilitate local government cooperation and state-local cooperation in addressing, on a regional basis, problems, according to the Council's mission statement.

Each member has a seat at the Council and pays membership dues to participate. In addition, the CRC also markets the region for economic development, assists businesses, promotes recreational opportunities, and cultural and historical tourism in the region.

Finnegan ended his letter to the CRC and said, “If there are ways that we might be able to assist the Commonwealth Regional Council and the counties that are members, please let me know. The services that you provide to the local governments as a planning district are invaluable and I wish you much success in continuing and expanding those efforts.”