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Downtown Farmville Will Continue To Be Driven By Volunteers

FARMVILLE – The anticipated hiring of an executive director for Downtown Farmville has been slightly delayed, according to the organization's president Jimmy Johnson.

But only slightly.

The original timeline stated applications would be accepted from April 15 to May 15, but Johnson told The Herald that “minor delays” would likely see advertising for the position begin by June 1, both locally and nationally, with no finalized deadline yet for applications to be submitted.

The Town of Farmville has budgeted $60,000 for the program in its proposed 2012-13 budget and discussed the executive director's position and its role in implementing Farmville's participation, through Downtown Farmville, in the Virginia Main Street program.

Johnson described the Town funding as “our biggest step in moving forward with our Main Street public/private partnership” and he went further into specifics with The Herald than had been discussed by Town Council during its budget meeting this month.

“The executive director will manage the Downtown Farmville Main Street office at the direction of the president and the board of directors, as per Main Street guidelines,” Johnson explained.

“Our committees will continue to function and will continue to do most of the work under the four-point system,” he continued. “All of the planning, forecasting, research, suggestions, changes, marketing…will be handled by volunteers of Downtown Farmville.”

Johnson said Downtown Farmville will receive guidance from the Virginia Main Street office, when requested to provide it, but he stressed that “this is a local program, consisting 100 percent of local volunteers who work to carry out the Main Street Approach to Economic Restructuring and Historical Preservation in member communities.”

Virginia Main Street personnel will not provide direction on what additional businesses might benefit Farmville's downtown revitalization, which will be driven locally, he pointed out.

Downtown Farmville's executive director, he stressed, will be in place “to facilitate the work of our committees, to maintain our records, files and reports and to offer assistance in attaining our goals.”

Doing so will take the burden of day to day operations “off the shoulders of our board and committed volunteers,” he stated.

The executive director will work with the Virginia Main Street office, on the other hand, and be Downtown Farmville's liaison and advisor “as we utilize the services and guidance of both the Virginia and National Main Street offices.”

Town Council, meanwhile, is poised to approve the $60,000, most of which will be used to pay the salary of the executive director, who will have a base salary of between $40,000 and $45,000, depending upon qualifications.

Farmville is one of four Virginia communities recently admitted to the statewide technical assistance program that now totals 25 communities.