Town Council votes on financial adjustments

Published 4:54 pm Saturday, March 19, 2022

The Farmville Town Council held its monthly meeting on Wednesday, Feb. 9 to discuss new matters for the town.

The Town Council discussed and approved adjusting the rates for town-owned rental facilities.

According to Dr. Scott Davis, in 2019 the Historic Farmville Train Station was used 162 times, Wilck’s Lake Park 62 times, Firemen’s Sports Arena 36, the banquet room 18, Riverside Park 10, Crute Stage 4 and the Community Marketplace outside of the farmers market 3 times.

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“That’s quite a bit of use and wear and tear on our buildings but also the expenses of us having to clean them as well afterward,” said Davis.

Since it has been at least five years since the rates were adjusted, Davis hopes to gradually increase these rates as the economy increases instead of all at one time. Also, Davis proposed a deposit that will be paid upfront with the rental fee. If nothing is damaged or excessively dirty, renters will get their deposit back.

Councilman Donald Hunter suggested raising the deposit on the sports arena and banquet hall due to them being larger in size than the others.

“The deposit for a larger room should require a larger deposit,” said Councilman Greg Cole in agreement. “Because it can do more damage in a larger space.”

The deposit will be $200 for the smaller venues and $500 for the sports arena and banquet hall due to the size. Nonprofit organizations and government entities can rent for free one time a year. Looking back at the 2019 numbers, only 101 paid out of the 162 who used the train station.

These new rates and deposits are in effect for any future rental agreement. Those who have already paid will keep the old rate.

Other business:

• There was a public hearing for a conditional use permit for a room to be built over a garage at 703 First Ave. No one spoke and the measure passed unanimously.

• The Personnel Committee met before the meeting to discuss vacancies in the Farmville Industrial Development Authority. Mark Kernohan and Zachary Preston were the only applicants to fill the two vacancies and the Council voted to appoint them to the IDA. Perry Carrington, Teresa Stewart and Leigh Lunsford were reappointed to the committee.

• The Town Council discussed the new rate for health insurance for the next fiscal year. Employees will see an increase of 2.5% which equals out to singles seeing a $10 to $12 increase and families seeing $51 per paycheck before tax. The new percentage was approved unanimously.

• Council voted to approve salary adjustments for Emergency 911 Communication Operators. This came after a discussion in the Wednesday, March 2, work session. The starting salary will now be $33,000 and other salaries will be adjusted accordingly. The town received 911 Wireless Funds to make this happen. This is also in light of the raises recently approved for police officers and public works employees. This raise will be effective at the beginning of the pay period on March 20.

• A partial refund was approved for Davies & Davies Attornies at Law who opened in March 2021 and closed on Jan. 31, 2022. The partial refund was for $46.80.

• The paving schedule will be adjusted due to ARPA funds. West Third Street will not finish its paving yet due to the possibility of replacing infrastructure such as water and sewer in the area. They will now be focusing on repaving the Crestview neighborhood.

• Mayor David Whitus formally announced that he will not be running again for Farmville mayor. He looks forward to serving the town until the end of his term, but wanted to formally announce it and let those interested in running start their campaign for November.