Broken promises on apartments

Published 2:49 pm Thursday, June 2, 2016

This is a copy of an email that I sent to the Farmville Town Council on Tuesday, May 24, regarding the 120-unit apartment complex being proposed by Farmville Associates LLC.

At the recent council meeting, you heard Town Manager Gerald Spates tell me, on the record, that he would rectify the situation with my mother concerning the acre she sold to the town for a retention pond that was actually being proposed as the new roadway for Russell Harper’s apartment complex. 

Well, last week, my mother, Willa Wood, got a letter from Spates assuring her that the property would only be used for the retention pond, as they had originally discussed. She was very appreciative.

I listened to a recording of the Monday, May 23, planning commission meeting. The proposed roadway had been moved back to its original place, closer to the intersection, as Spates had said.

Toward the end of the meeting, the commission was listing its stipulations to vote on and it was suggested that the exit be right turn only for safety. 

Commissioner L.D. Phaup said he remembered Harper saying that if it were right turn only, he would drop the project, so he asked Harper if he would continue with the project with right turn only and Harper said, “No.”

The subject came up as to whether the roadway could go back to where it was (across Mom’s sold acre) and someone asked Spates if he had indeed written a letter to my mother stating that only a retention pond would go on that land and he said that he had, but there were no deed restrictions, so the road could be moved.

A nice man spoke up and said that it would be wrong for the town to do that after telling her they wouldn’t.

Spates said, “Money talks and …” and the rest was mumbled.

The nice man said something about that comment and Spates said he just meant that my mother would probably accept some sort of compensation if the road was moved.  Somehow, the commission voted to approve the project.

Besides the fact that my mother has been lied to over and over and now Spates has said she can be bribed, what about the danger?

I invite any of you to go to my mom’s house almost any time of day and try to make a left turn; a right isn’t easy either. She always goes right and turns around at Walmart.

What about the people of the Greens South who bought their homes from Harper with the belief that nothing was going on that landlocked piece of property behind them?

My biggest question is why is Spates getting away with buying that land under the pretense of using it for a retention pond for the town when he really spent town funds to benefit Harper.

Jenny Wood, the daughter of Willa Wood, lives in Cumberland. Her email address is