Town to change parking signage

Published 6:07 am Friday, December 9, 2016

The Farmville Town Council on Wednesday discussed downtown parking, the loss of the Greyhound Bus Station and the continued development of future businesses.

Council members voted to add to the signage in the Green Front Furniture and Charleys Waterfront Café parking lot to include wording to indicate parking is only for customers of those businesses and the newly opened Virginia Tasting Cellar.

“The parking lot is being used for trails,” said Town Manager Gerry Spates. “Students park there and walk to class. If you don’t do some kind of restriction …, customers won’t have somewhere to park.”

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Council members agreed something needed to be done and voted to approve the sign change.

“Parking’s been a thing ever since I’ve been on council,” Mayor David Whitus said.

Gerald Spates

Gerald Spates

Spates agreed, saying, “Parking is a problem, and that lot is not very big.”

In other business, resident Juanita Taylor asked why Greyhound buses no longer stop in Farmville. Because there are so many families and college students who use the bus, Taylor asked the council to look into Greyhound’s absence.

Spates said Greyhound needs a vendor to host the bus stop.

Ward D Representative Donald Hunter said he and Spates have looked into it in the past with little success. Spates agreed but said he would try again.

“The biggest thing is the shelter,” Spates replied to a suggestion from At-Large Councilman Thomas Pairet that Greyhound use the municipal lot behind the courthouse.

“There’s several people working on it, but it’s a challenge,” Spates said.

Taylor also asked for more supermarkets in town. Whitus said there has been discussion of bringing in a new grocery store, but nothing has been finalized.

Also, Farmer’s Market Manager Rodney Lewis reported the market made progress this year with 10-15 vendors selling anything from meat and vegetables to craft items.

The market was fortunate, he said, to receive money from Centra Health Systems to help expand the EBT program and bring fresh products to families who otherwise wouldn’t be able to afford it.

“Though it may not sound like a lot, it’s a whole lot for our customers,” Lewis said. “If y’all haven’t been to the market, I encourage you to come.”

Ward B Representative Sally Thompson said she is “really pleased” with how the market has grown.

During his town manager’s report, Spates mentioned two dump trucks that were purchased as used and renovated.

David Whitus

David Whitus

“We bought two and they will last for 10 years,” Spates said, noting they look like “new” trucks.

He said work on two new hotels — a Tru by Hilton and a Holiday Inn Express— is well underway. A third hotel, Hotel Weyanoke, is also making progress, Spates said. He said there will be 2-3 restaurants within the Weyanoke.

Also, the town has been collecting bids for roof replacement at the Municipal Golf Course clubhouse, Spates said, and only one company placed a bid.

The council voted unanimously for Melvin T. Morgan Roofing to complete the project, with an approved budget of $46,000.

The roof is the original roof and is beyond possible repair, Spates said.

The sale of the old library building was discussed. Spates said the library was sold for $208,000 and the county and the town are responsible for those funds, which will help cover library needs. The Prince Edward Board of Supervisors will discuss the sale during its December meeting next week. The town council will take action during its January meeting.

During the meeting, new Police Chief Andy Ellington introduced his first new hire. Thomas Logan joined the force after working several positions for the Halifax Police Department.

Logan thanked council members for the opportunity to serve the town.