Town Limit Talks Begin

Published 4:59 pm Thursday, January 30, 2014

FARMVILLE — Nothing has been decided.

The process, which is likely to take 12 months, is just beginning.

There will be at least one public hearing.

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And if there is a final agreement it must be approved by the state’s Commission On Local Government.

But the first voluntary boundary adjustment meeting between Prince Edward County and the Town of Farmville was cordial, productive and resulted in an area of focus for future discussions.

Wednesday’s meeting of Town and County voluntary boundary adjustment committees ended with Town Manager Gerald Spates and County Administrator Wade Bartlett tasked to draw a map of the area on which the two localities will focus:

The area between the existing Town of Farmville corporate limits and the US 460 Bypass from East Third Street to US 15.

Now, that does not mean that all of that area will be included in a voluntary boundary adjustment deal to expand the Town of Farmville’s corporate limits.

Nor does it mean that any property in that area will be brought into the Town.

There is no guarantee, in fact, that a voluntary boundary adjustment deal will be concluded at all.

But that swath of land will be mapped out by Spates and Bartlett for the next meeting and an economic impact assessment will be made on the financial implications for the Town and County were Farmville’s corporate limits extended to include some or all of that area.

The Town’s committee members are Vice-Mayor Armstead D. Reid and fellow council members Tommy Pairet and Jamie Davis. Spates and Town clerk Lisa Hricko were also in attendance.

The County was represented by board of supervisors chairman Howard Simpson and supervisors Pete Campbell and Jim Wilck, with county administrator Bartlett and assistant county administrator Sarah Puckett in attendance, as well.

“Do you want Wade and I to sit down and come up with a map and get back to the group?” asked Spates, following an active and lengthy discussion between Town and County representatives.

The answer was yes, with Wilck saying such a map would be very helpful.

A request to the County from Piedmont Regional Jail for a voluntary boundary adjustment bringing it into the Town of Farmville is the reason there is any discussion at all.

The jail wants to be within the Town limits so it can save roughly $96,000 a year on water and sewer bills by qualifying for the in-town rates.

But the Town of Farmville would lose that same amount of revenue were the jail brought within its corporate limits and Town officials are determined that if any deal is finalized it must include additional revenue-producing property to offset that financial loss.

In fact, County representatives were told Wednesday that town council has no desire at all to conclude a deal that would only bring the jail into Farmville’s corporate limits.

The County, on the other hand, is equally keen that it not suffer any consequential harm to its revenue stream as a result of a voluntary boundary adjustment deal.

Any deal, Davis observed, must “make financial common sense.”

Which is clearly the mindset of both the County and the Town.