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Master plan underway

The Town of Farmville is in the beginning stages of developing a master plan for its parks and recreation department.

According to town spokeswoman Kate Eggleston, the town is working with Land Planning and Design Associates (LPDA) to develop a strategy through a 10-year development plan and the proposed master plan.

The contract with LPDA totals $50,000.

“LPDA will gather data and complete research to assess the current conditions/community needs (including programs and facilities),” Eggleston said.

The firm, Eggleston said, will gather citizen input through “public forums, stakeholder meetings and a public survey; this information will be analyzed and compiled.”

“I’m really looking forward to seeing the results of the master plan study, which will help us to have a better idea of what the community’s needs are and what we can do to better meet those needs,” said Director of Parks and Recreation Chris Bolt. “I love working with town residents, especially the kids, with all the programs that we offer, and I can’t wait to be able to increase and expand upon those programs.”

The town’s recreation budget totals $253,486.28, according to Eggleston.

Gerald Spates

Gerald Spates

“Council recognizes the importance that a robust and active parks and recreation program plays in enriching the lives of citizens living in our community and enabling Farmville to be a desirable location for businesses to relocate (to),” said Ward A Councilman Greg Cole, who serves as chairman of the parks and recreation committee of town council. “Our goal in the master planning process is to assess where we are now, determine where we need to be and then develop a plan to get there.”

“Bolt has done a great job leading the parks and rec program,” Town Manager Gerald Spates said. “He has helped us to increase our offerings of activities and sports, as well as increase participation in our offerings. He started the Jingle Bell Run in 2011, which has become a well-attended, exciting event in the town. I look forward to seeing how the program grows in the upcoming years, especially after receiving some guidance from the master plan report.”

“It is estimated that the master plan will be completed in October,” Eggleston said.