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We may have gotten lucky this time with this storm but please will somebody please put it in the county budget funds to...

Non-town entities request funding from Farmville

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By ANGELA HARNE
The Farmville Entrprise

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

FARMVILLE — Eight non-town entities are requesting a total of $56,500 in funding from the town of Farmville.

Representatives from each organization were allocated five minutes to make their case for funding last week at the Farmville Board of Commissioners meeting.

Making their pleas were the Farmville Community Arts Council, Farmville Rescue & EMS, Pitt Community College, the Pitt County Council on Aging, Rooted in Community, H.B. Sugg and Sam D. Bundy elementary schools, the Farmville Senior Council and J and L Enterprises.

The Farmville Community Arts Council is requesting $12,000 to fund its overhead costs, including utilities, phone, internet, insurance and housekeeping services.

“There has been a renewed level of participation the past two years,” said Mike Barnette, the arts council’s bookkeeper.

The arts council’s membership has increased, along with its number of active volunteers, who keep the Paramount Theater’s doors open, host receptions and events at the theater and promote its programs, Barnette said.

Farmville Rescue & EMS also is requesting $12,000 from the town to purchase a generator. The organization is one of a few that does not have a generator on site, according to Kyle Willis of Farmville Rescue & EMS.

A 45-kilowatt generator is estimated to cost $12,500. Installation costs average $6,500, Willis said.

Farmville Rescue & EMS is hoping to secure the excess funds from Pitt County’s EMS oversight committee, which has money in its 2017-18 fiscal year contingency fund, Willis told commissioners.

Commissioner John Moore requested $6,500 be earmarked within the 2018-19 fiscal year budget to cover the installation costs if the county does not grant funding.

“Hurricane season is upon us with 14 forecasted,” Moore said, adding he wants to ensure Farmville Rescue & EMS is equipped to serve the community if power is lost.

Pitt Community College asked for $10,000 to maintain the Farmville Center. A college representative was not present.

Pitt County Council on Aging is requesting $8,500 to continue to provide Meals on Wheels to Farmville residents.

Meals on Wheels funds are 100 percent filtered back into Farmville, according to Rich Zeck, the director of Pitt County Council on Aging.

Farmville’s allocation of $8,500 enabled the council to feed seven Farmville residents a month.

Moore asked how much additional funding was needed to zero out Farmville’s Meals on Wheels waiting list, which now sits at three.

It costs $1,400 to feed one client a year, Zeck said.

“I would like to maintain 100 percent,” Moore said.

No official action was taken.

Rooted in Community, a community garden located on the corner of Cotton and George streets, is requesting $5,000 from the town to continue its efforts to grow, according to representative Bess Patton.

Within its first year of operation, the garden partnered with the Boys and Girls Clubs of the Coastal Plain — Farmville Unit for summer camps and the Soup Kitchen, which teaches youth about gardening and food production and provides fresh produce the needy, Patton said.

They also partnered with local Boy Scouts working toward their Eagle Scout rank, who built raised garden beds and will soon construct a shed on site to store gardening tools.

Town funds will be used to expand and maintain the garden beds.

H.B. Sugg and Sam D. Bundy elementary schools are requesting $4,000 to continue to provide supplies to  fourth and fifth graders in the Advancement Via Individual Determination or AVID program.

AVID prepares students for college and career success by teaching students how to take effective notes and organizational skills.

The town’s funding allows school staff to purchase the same materials, including binders, pencil pouches and dividers for their students, so come the first day of school all students receive the same materials and are ready to work. This provides a level playing field.

“Equity is really important,” Commissioner Alma Hobbs said.

The Farmville Senior Council is requesting $2,500 to “keep its van rolling,” according to organization representative Cathy Holmes.

The funds will cover the council’s costs affiliated with its driver, gas and insurance, Holmes said. The van is used daily to transport senior citizens to and from the Farmville Senior Center for activities. It also is used to transport seniors on monthly field trips.

J and L Enterprises also is requesting $2,500 to continue to provide its free summer camp at the H.B. Sugg Community Center.

“Our goal remains the same: To provide free summer programs to underprivileged and disadvantaged children,” founder Josephine Horne said.

This year’s camp will run over a four-week period featuring a field trip a week. The children receive breakfast, lunch and a snack throughout the day.

Commissioners will discuss the proposed $17.8 million 2018-19 fiscal year budget on Wednesday. A public hearing on the proposed budget is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. on June 4 at town hall.

The proposed budget does not include a tax increase or rate increases to electric and sewer fees, according to Hodgkins. A water rate fee increase is proposed due to the town’s expired water agreement with the town of La Grange and to cover the costs associated with its water purchase agreement with Greenville Utilities Commission.

The proposed budget also includes a 4.2 percent solid waste fee increase.

The budget allocates funds for a part-time animal control officer and a full-time planning director.  Also within staffing needs, the proposed budget includes funding to continue the town’s merit pay plan.

It also allocates fund balance to cover costs of projects at town hall, the community center and within recreation. It allocates funds from its Powell Bill fund to complete several sidewalk projects.

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