Council discusses possible fees

Published 8:00 am Thursday, June 9, 2022

The Farmville Town Council discussed possible new fees for property developers in a Wednesday, June 1, work session.

Town Manager Dr. Scott Davis presented a proposed fee schedule for land development, zoning permits and environmental services. Unlike other localities, Farmville does not have established fees.

“As you can see we do not have any fees established for anything really in some areas, and most localities do for the work that we do,” said Davis.

The zoning fees will range up to $200 depending on the services needed. For major and discretionary cases, there is a range of flat fees from $100 to $500 and additional fees per acre, offer or amendment. The land development fees range up to $750 with some having additional fees per acre or lot. Environmental services fees will have flat rates of $50 to $100 with additional fees per acre.

Farmville Mayor David Whitus raised concerns about staying competitive in economic development. Farmville is attractive to many new businesses due to its lack of fees and hurdles, making the process faster than other localities. Whitus and other council members expressed interest in seeing what other localities are doing.

“In lieu of the fact that we just recently raised taxes in the Town of Farmville, I would like to compare to others, not that we have to be like others, but just to get a general feel for where we are in comparison before we move any further with it,” said Councilman Thomas Pairet.

According to Davis, a majority of the proposed fees would be paid by the developers and landowners of the property that is being developed. This will not be like an extra property tax for landowners.

Davis plans to have a public hearing on the proposed fees during the regular July meeting.

IN OTHER BUSINESS:

• The council unanimously voted for Davis to sign an agreement with Taxing Authority Consulting Services, a law firm that Prince Edward County works with as a collection attorney for personal property and real property taxes.

• A request was received to adjust a utility bill at 203 S. Virginia St. This is a property rented out to college students who had a broken toilet over a month before they contacted the owners, who fixed it the same day. The constant water flow of the toilet made the water bill cost $1,500. According to a meter reading, the bill would have been nearly $3,000, so the bill was already reduced. After a debate on whether to reduce it a second time, the discussion was tabled until the next meeting.

• Davis plans to bring a resolution to award the Farmville Downtown Partnership $15,000 in federal American Rescue Plan Act funds. The partnership requested $45,000 from the town, but the town budgeted only $30,000 like the previous year.

• According to Whitus, he talked to the owner of The North Street Press Club on North Street, who is interested in putting in handicapped parking spots. Davis agreed to start the process to add handicapped spaces. Since the meeting, one has been added just outside the door of the club.