Public Hearing Over New Walmart Attracts Crowds

TIMBERVILLE, Va. -- Person after person spoke in front of town council Friday evening to rally for or against a proposed Walmart on South Main Street in Timberville.

"What exactly are you willing to sacrifice for convenience when there are Walmarts 20 minutes in every direction," asked a woman who is against the Walmart.

"People who are on a fixed income have to go to Walmart in Harrisonburg so they can get the groceries they need, because we cannot pay the prices down here," said another man who wants the Walmart.

Tammy Strickler spoke at the public hearing and said the store would rid the town of small businesses and poses a threat to school kids.

"I feel like I'm being choked out of the town I love. I've lived here all my life and I don't want to loose the small town feel," said Strickler, "Walmart is going to be selling guns, knifes, and alcohol, and it's 159 feet from an elementary school. No."

On the flip side, Matt Ulmer owns a business down the street from where the store may be built and thinks Walmart will benefit the area.

"It's going to create more jobs, but it's also going to create bigger businesses, and businesses will grow because there will be more people," says Ulmer, "I'm excited, it's growing the area and growing the businesses."

As people speak to council, only time will tell whether or not the supercenter will come to Timberville.

Based on Friday's feedback, a recommendation could be made by the town's planning commission. If that passes then town council could vote on the new store as early as September.


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