Dear Revitalization Supporter,

On behalf of the *STAR* Board, we wish you all a happy, healthy, and rewarding 2021. We are optimistic that life will improve as the months progress for us all and that we will see more great progress for our town.

The Greene Commons’ farmers market was a great success despite the pandemic conditions. Shoppers came from near and far (many being tourists renting local vacation properties to get away from cities) attracted by the offerings of our dozen or so faithful vendors. Unfortunately, State regulations did not allow us to have crafts vendors until late in the season. Fewer people walked and shopped, but our Market Manager, Judy Berger, created an on-line ordering system so people had curbside pickup. Together we averaged almost 200 customers each Saturday. A survey showed that both vendors and customers were very satisfied with the market. Due to pandemic restrictions, we cancelled our planned music and special events at the market. We also cancelled the scheduled concerts and festivals, and limited group rentals. Hopefully, we will return to normal before the end of this season. We need them to cover our costs.

We had hoped that construction of the second phase of the streetscape project would have been completed. Covid-19 delayed this also. However, VDOT, county engineers, the town, and property owners have been working behind the scenes and we are now ready to go. The “Invitation to Bid” by contractors will be advertised for the balance of the month, a contractor will be chosen in February and construction is expected to begin by May. The description reads “Sidewalks will be constructed along the north side of Main Street from Rectory Lane to Madison Road and from Celt Road to an existing sidewalk at 8315 Spotswood Trail (Pioneer Bank). Improvements include sidewalks, curbs, a pedestrian bridge, side walls, storm sewer, lighting, and landscaping.”

The cost estimates for the streetscape improvements have increased because of engineering issues, changes in VDOT requirements, and the current active and costly construction environment. We now face the challenge of raising approximately $150,000 toward the local match. Your help is needed, once again. I know that this might not be a good time to be asking for donations, but it is critical to Stanardsville’s revitalization.

Although in general 2020 was a good year for us, as you can imagine, we had fewer accomplishments than originally planned. We delayed applying for a Community Business Launch grant to fund a contest to attract new businesses to Stanardsville. There were too few entrepreneurs seeking to start or expand their business. We hope to apply for this grant in August and be awarded it next year.

It is bittersweet that the most active spot in town has been at Feeding Greene, our food bank. Their move to a new location came as the pandemic swelled the need for help. Rhonda Oliver and the many volunteers and donors who provide this service make a huge contribution to the wellbeing of many Greene residents in need, as does the Greene Care Clinic in town.

It is insulting when some people refer to Stanardsville as “the ghost town” on internet. They might not have been to the town, and obviously do not know what it was like before the streetscape project, the farmers market pavilion and entertainment venue, the investments in enhancing commercial buildings and the restorations being done on the historic 1840 William Mills House. We hope they will change their minds when they come and meet the people here. They could also have a delightful dinner at the Lafayette Inn or have excellent Mexican food from the new Mexican Store on Main Street or pizza from Dominos or Sal’s…. after they have been to the farmers market and taken the historic walking tour around the town. They can then do all their grocery shopping at Great Valu before returning home.

We look forward to seeing you, our supporters, as well.

Best Regards,

Don Pamenter (434) 990-1958

Roy Dye (434) 409-5796

Stanardsville Area Revitalization (*STAR*)

PO Box 838, Stanardsville, Virginia 22973