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Halifax events coordinator steps down

Halifax Events Coordinator Susi Robbins announced her resignation Tuesday night during the Halifax Town Council committees meeting and work session in Halifax Town Hall.

Following the success of the second annual Halifest held on Oct. 26, Robbins submitted her letter of resignation citing a need to focus on caring for family members in addition to working in arts education and the restaurant business. 

In her Nov. 5 letter to Town Manager Carl Espy, Robbins thanked the town “for the opportunities for professional and personal development” throughout the course of two seasons at the Halifax Farmers Market downtown. 

“I have enjoyed working for the Town of Halifax and appreciate the support provided to me by you and Denise Barksdale during my time as coordinator,” Robbins said in the letter.

The Business Development Committee Chair Kristy Johnson explained Robbins’ role with the town and how the position may evolve in the future. 

“Susi has been an integral part of the continued success of Halifax events. As much as I am disappointed to see her go, I am confident that she has laid the groundwork for us to continue to build on these hugely successful community events. I look forward to work making the future Halifax events just as successful.”  

Johnson, Mayor Dick Moore and Espy had the opportunity to meet with Robbins prior to the town council work session to thank her for making Halifax a destination for a wide array of exciting entertainment venues and family-oriented festivals for nearly two years.

“Susi’s creativity and a contagious enthusiasm helped showcase the town by forming partnerships with non-profits and local businesses to brand these events,” Espy said. 

In addition to the two Earth Day and October Halifest events, Robbins expanded the profile, talent pool and audience appeal of the summer Friday Night Jams program initiated by her predecessor Erin Throckmorton Shaughnessy. 

Mayor Moore added, “We really appreciate all the work Susi put into taking our events to the next level.”

A resident of Halifax County for 30 years, Robbins and her husband, Robyn, moved here from Richmond in order to raise their family in a rural environment. Since that time, she has become an active community volunteer, coordinating art classes, special events and fundraisers. 

She currently works with the Community Arts Center Foundation as lead instructor for the pre-k arts academy program partnered with the Halifax County School System and The Prizery.  

As one of the founding members of Destination Downtown South Boston, she helped establish South Boston as a member of the Virginia Main Street Program.  

An arts and crafts major at Longwood University, Robbins was the recipient of numerous awards on both the state and local levels. She remains passionate about enhancing the education of both children and lifelong learners through the arts, culture and local heritage.

Espy said council would discuss replacing Robbins in the future and hoped to get someone in before the annual Earth Day event.

 

Beaches to Bluegrass Trail

Council also adopted a resolution supporting the efforts of the Virginia Beach to Blue Grass Trail Tuesday night. 

In July of 2007 council adopted its comprehensive plan that addresses transportation goals for more pedestrian and bicycle facilities throughout the town. It included an identified greenway system within the project area specifically prioritizing historic preservation natural resource protection and outdoor recreation opportunities along the Banister Lake/Banister River “blue way” which comprises a portion of the Tobacco Heritage Trail. 

The Beaches to Bluegrass Trail is a proposed statewide shared-use trail that will connect the Cumberland Gap to the Atlantic Ocean through Southern and Southwestern Virginia.  

Beach to Bluegrass Trail Comprehensive planning work now underway has identified the Banister River Gateway and the Banister River Blueway in the Town of Halifax as links to the Tobacco Heritage Trail in Halifax County as part of the regional trail system to the surrounding southern Virginia counties.

In the resolution, council expressed its commitment to work with other localities to connect these trails, bikeways, paths and greenways in addition to working with state and congressional representatives to support legislation promoting active human-powered transportation facilities for the betterment of the town, county, region, state and country. 

 

Buzzard permit arrives

Halifax Police Chief Kevin Lands informed council the buzzard permit has arrived and officers and animal control will work together to start killing the birds.

However they would also try other measures as well, Lands said explaining they have looked into getting paintball guns and will continue to use the noise guns to move the birds that have plagued downtown Halifax.

 

Library summary

During the committees meeting and work session Tuesday night, Councilman Johnson summarized the Oct. 15 presentation the library of Virginia gave to the Halifax County Library Board concering the possibility of the present library system potentially turning into a regional system.

According to Johnson, a regional library would be a logical choice if they can find a partner.

 

MBC wireless Internet project

Also Tuesday night, Town Manager Espy updated council on the MBC wireless Internet project explaining all facilities have been installed, and there is signal.

 

Halifax Village Association activities

Tuesday night council also discussed Halifax Village Association activities. 

According to Town Assistant Denise Barksdale and Espy, in an effort to raise funds for construction of the clock plaza the association is selling pavers to be placed in the plaza. A four by eight paver with up to three lines with 18 to 20 characters per line costs $100, or buyers can purchase an eight by eight engraved paver with up to six lines with 18 to 20 characters per line for $200.

Those interested in purchasing a paver can visit http://www.polarengraving.com/HVA. 

For more information, interested parties can visit This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Barksdale also informed council the association would host its annual children’s parade on Friday, Dec. 6, at 6:30 p.m.

The Farmers Market also will host a holiday market on Dec. 7, 14 and 21 from 8 a.m. to noon. A total of 35 vendors have signed up to participate in the event, and Barksdale said she has reached the limit for vendors due to available space. A majority of the vendors will be selling arts and crafts.

Events Coordinator Susi Robbins informed council Tuesday Halifest was deemed a success meeting its goal of 1,000 with well over 1,500 people attending the event that brought in $227 in profits after generating $1,611 in total revenue and $1384 in total event expenses.