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Beautification locations identified

The Farmville Town Council’s Farmville Enhancement of Roadways and Neighborhoods committee (FERN) has identified eight potential garden spots for Farmville’s Roadside Beautification Project.

The purpose of the project is to beautify the town while boosting the economy and facilitating economic development, according to Proctor Harvey, president of Harvey Design Land Architects. Harvey’s firm will be responsible for implementing the project in Farmville.

“The model is rather simple in concept and consists of designing a series of attractive gardens at key visible roadway locations and soliciting private sponsors to donate money to support the cost of the garden,” noted the firm’s website. “The sponsor receives a recognition sign in the garden for a designated period of time and the program recycles itself with continuing contributors or new ones as each new period begins.”

Dan Dwyer

Dan Dwyer

According to Councilman and chairman of the FERN committee Dan Dwyer, the first eight projects will focus on the four major entrances into Farmville. “We’ve got improvements under each entrance,” Dwyer said.

Suggested locations include entrances into Farmville from Cumberland, Lynchburg, Richmond and Keysville. Specific locations include U.S. Route 15 South of Farmville (“Welcome to Farmville” sign), U.S. Route 15 south of Farmville (in front of Sheetz), the corner of Graham Road and South Main Street, South Main Street (near corner area of Milnwood Road), the corner of North Main Street and Plank Road, the corner of Osborne Road and North Main Street, the corner of West Third Street, Layne Street and Waterworks Road and East Third Street (heading toward Rice).

Dwyer said the list is tentative. “What we’ve got to do is find out what these eight projects cost,” he said. After cost estimates are received, the projects can be advertised to potential donors, Dwyer said.

At a January meeting of the town council, Harvey said the projects could range from the low end of $7,500 and upward $50,000, depending on the size and location of the garden.

Harvey said the donation is a one-time fee, which covers the leasing of a chosen garden location for a period of five years. He said the fee would generally cover the implementation and maintenance of the garden.

Dwyer anticipates that the first eight projects will be completed in time for Longwood University’s vice presidential debate in the October.

“It has a very energetic, excited feel to it, which is great,” he said.

At a December meeting of the town council, Town Manager Gerald Spates said there would be plenty of opportunities for businesses to participate.

Harvey said a total of 34 garden locations would be available for sponsorship. He said the name of the project is unique to the town of Farmville only. “We always do one for each community,” he said. Donations would be 100 percent tax deductible.

“We also thought this could be a great opportunity to maybe update that sign that (says) ‘Welcome to Farmville,’” Harvey said. “The one that’s there now is fairly low. It could use refreshing.”