Henry Co. preparing for Martinsville's potential reversion

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MARTINSVILLE (WSLS10) - If Martinsville reverts to a town and becomes part of Henry County, it could end up costing tax payers some extra money.

That's according to Henry County staff who have been studying the three previous reversion cases in Virginia.

"We've been closely looking at each of those three cases," said Dale Wagoner, Henry County's Deputy County Administrator.

"We would be required to provide more services, but we also know - from a positive standpoint - it would help our region as a whole," Wagoner said.

One of the biggest challenges would be deciding what to do with the city schools.

"The town would not be under any obligation to provide education," Wagoner explained. "That's typically a county or a city responsibility."

In order to begin the reversion process, the Martinsville City Council would have to vote for it, or citizens would have to file a petition. After that, the final decision lies with a three judge panel from the Commission on Local Government.

Wagoner emphasized that each reversion case is different, but based on his research of the past three reversion cases - if Martinsville does decide to pursue reversion the process would likely take at least five years.

A life-long Martinsville resident and business owner says even though the thought of reverting is sad, she doesn't believe it will impact on her greatly.

"I can't see it as making a difference. Henry County and Martinsville get along really well."

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