Prince Edward Notebook: Supervisors sign off on Farmville Road retail

Published 1:38 am Saturday, November 12, 2022

Some retail is coming to Farmville Road. During their Thursday, Nov. 10 meeting, Prince Edward County supervisors signed off on a conditional use permit, just north of the former Fishing Pig site. 

The idea is for a 10,640 square foot Dollar General store, with both the building façade and parking getting an upgrade. One thing might draw a sigh, however. The Virginia Department of Transportation will require a turn lane to be installed near the Farmville Road property, which means more road work on that side of Prince Edward County. 

Rhetson Companies now owns the property, located on the east side of Farmville Road. That’s less than one tenth of a mile north of its intersection with Kingsville Road. Coming to terms on a dea this past July, the company bought 13.97 acres of land in that area. Rhetson Companies Project Manager Matt Taggart said the store will be designed to support the immediate surrounding community, with a projected 12 to 16 visits per hour expected. 

And as we mentioned, there will be a turn lane. As you’re heading north, there will be a northbound turn lane coming into the site, which will be in only, no exit. Nobody spoke against the permit request Thursday and county staff said no one had called to oppose the idea previously. 

Supervisors approved the request by a unanimous vote. 

Polling place getting moved 

Currently, District 7 voters in the West End vote at the Farmville Volunteer Fire Department. But that will change after this month. Prince Edward County was notified that the space will no longer be available and as a result, the polling place has to move. To solve the problem, the Town of Farmville extended an offer this past week to move West End voters to the Farmville Train Station for future elections. 

Now the county can’t simply sign off on an offer like that. They have to go through a process. The county code has to be amended, as it states where polling places are located. To do that, there first needs to be a public hearing. That public hearing is currently scheduled for the Dec. 13 meeting of the Prince Edward County Board of Supervisors. If supervisors vote to approve after the hearing, then it’ll go to Virginia Attorney General Jason Miyares, whose office has to verify that the new polling place meets all requirements. 

Prince Edward County gets a drone

There’s a couple new pieces of equipment coming to the Prince Edward County Emergency Management staff. Supervisors signed off on a proposal to buy a new drone and a smartboard during their Thursday, Nov. 10 meeting.

Previously, when there was a search and rescue operation in Prince Edward County, emergency staff would have to borrow a drone from nearby counties and fire departments. They requested one to use for search and rescue, code enforcement and other situations as needed. Emergency staff also requested a smartboard, to be put up in the board of supervisors conference room. That conference room doubles as the emergency operations center during any type of natural disaster or other issue. The smartboard would give staff direct access for Zoom calls, weather updates, outage maps and emergency briefings. 

Prince Edward supervisors unanimously approved the request. The drone will cost $6,157 and the smartboard will run $5,262.26. That adds up to $11,419.26. A total of $9,436 will come from a grant given by the Virginia Department of Emergency Management. The remaining $1,983.26 will come from the county’s contingency fund. 

County sets up award program 

Also during Thursday’s meeting, county supervisors unanimously approved a new award program. Previously, there was no way to recognize long-term employees for their contributions. The new Employee Service Award Program will do just that. These awards, along with a financial bonus for some, will be given out during the annual holiday luncheon each year for those who have been with the county at least five years, with different awards for each five year level after.

For example, those with five years of service get a framed certificate. Ten year employees get an anniversary gift not to exceed $50, with a $75 community gift card for those with 15 years of service. Those with 25 years working for Prince Edward get a $250 cash reward and it goes up to $400 for those with 40 years. 

“This program is an opportunity to show the county’s appreciation for their hard work and dedication,” said Prince Edward County Administrator Doug Stanley. 

The cost for this fiscal year to implement the program will be $5,060.00, all taken from the  contingency fund.