Community Christmas Tree Aired

Published 12:57 pm Thursday, April 2, 2015

FARMVILLE — During a meeting that emphasized working together, Farmville’s town council and the Prince Edward County board of supervisors agreed to discuss branching out on a community Christmas tree.

The two governing bodies appointed members to a committee that will study the feasibility of the project.

Among the questions:

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Should the tree be artificial or living?

And, where should it be erected or planted?

The idea was unwrapped by Ward B town council member Sally Thompson during last week’s joint meeting between council members and supervisors.

Thompson envisions the Town and County splitting the cost 50-50, with the tree placed on the lawn of the courthouse and offering residents the chance to remember loved ones by placing ornaments on the tree in their honor or memory.

“We’ll have a community lighting,” she said. “This is a community project. Have a community lighting service with choirs and make it a big deal.”

Offering the chance to work together, Thompson said, the project would show “many, many good things to the whole community.”

The estimated cost of a pre-lit artificial tree is $4,000, which would be a one-time cost.

“I do think it’s a wonderful way to bring everybody together,” Thompson said. “…The community needs to see that both groups are working together.”

Mayor David E. Whitus suggested a committee be formed to address the ways and means of the proposal. “There are a lot of details that need to be worked out,” he said, calling committee scrutiny “the best approach.”

Prospect District supervisor Calvin Gray said the project sounded “like a great idea” and agreed that coming up with the details would be very helpful to ensure “we cover all the bases so nothing catches us off-guard.”

Though the discussion came in the month of March, Christmas nine months away, work needs to get underway, Thompson stressed.

“If we’re going to do this, we need to start the planning…now,” she said.

And that will include considering potential locations.

“The courthouse lawn is not that big,” Vice Mayor Armstead D. Reid observed. “…We’re talking about a big tree. Maybe another location? I don’t know.”

The town council committee members are Thompson, Reid and Dan Dwyer, and they will work with supervisors Howard Simpson, the board chair, along with Gray, Jim Wilck and Pattie Cooper-Jones.