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Henry County asks state legislators for more power in reversion process

Martinsville considers reverting to town, becoming part of Henry County

HENRY COUNTY, Va. – Henry County supervisors want to have the option to say no.

"The surrounding counties should have some place at the table to say, 'We don't think we want this,'" Henry County Administrator Tim Hall said about the process of cities reverting to towns and becoming part of the county their surrounded by.

Martinsville is considering reverting.

Currently, if the state approves a city's request to become part of the county that surrounds that city, the county has to accept the decision.

Hall said the county wanting to be able to reject a reversion request does not mean the county would say no if Martinsville wants to become part of the county.

"We haven't even thought about saying yes or no because we'll never get the question. There's no use worrying about the answer until you get the question," Hall said.

In other words, the county knows that, realistically, legislators are not going to give counties the power to say no.

Hall hopes the county's request will simply keep the issue on legislators' minds so that someday they will may grant that power.

On Wednesday, 10 News asked State Sen. Bill Stanley, whose district includes Martinsville and Henry County, if he supports the county's request.

"I'm going to have to look at what they're proposing right now more specifically," Stanley said.

He said the reversion process shouldn't be one-sided, though.

"I think the county has a right to have a say in the matter," Stanley said. "I'm hopeful that everybody at the local level can come together and find a resolution that works, and remember, that works for the citizens of Martinsville and the citizens of Henry County."

Martinsville City Council members are waiting on the city's 2013 reversion study to be updated before taking any further action regarding reversion.

The update was approved earlier this month and is expected to be complete early next year.