Mixed Reaction to a Possible Wal-Mart Store in Timberville

By: Carly Stephenson Email
By: Carly Stephenson Email
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Here's the full statement from Wal-Mart's Senior Manager of Communications Amanda Henneberg:

“We can confirm that we filed a plan with the town, and we look forward to working with the town to obtain the necessary approvals to move the project forward. Our store would provide our customers with both general merchandise and fresh food close to where they live and work, while creating approximately 300 jobs and additional tax revenue for the town. The proposed store would be a 128,000 square foot Supercenter located along Main Street.”

TIMBERVILLE, Va. (WHSV)-- A new Wal-Mart supercenter may be coming to the Valley.

The company approached the town with a request to build a store, according to the Timberville town manager Austin Garber.

Garber said Wal-Mart filed a rezoning application for a 16-acre piece of land on South Main Street by American Legion Drive on July 24.

Randy Andes, who owns Randy's Hardware, which is near the possible site, said Garber came by to let business owners know of the change. He's concerned about small businesses.

"They're gonna have to change or they won't be able to make it," said Andes, "I'm not sure that Timberville is ready for a store that size and the increased traffic and the congestion that it'll bring with it. Not to mention, the impact on the other small businesses in town."

In a statement, Wal-Mart said that they look forward to working with the town to move the project forward.

The supercenter would create about 300 jobs, according to the company's statement.

"Creating the jobs and giving people convenience where they wouldn't have to drive 20 minutes to Harrisonburg to do their shopping, and drawing people in from outside the area," said Garber.

If the land is re-zoned for business use, Garber said other businesses may come too.

However, while some look forward to this positive economic turn, others worry.

"That's why we came here, to get away from all the rat race and all of the people and all of the big stores, so and so it was nice to come to a small area and to go to little stores and little shops and support them. So, I'm not very happy about it," said Brenda Hartman, who lives in Broadway.

It will be up to the town council to vote, once the town planning commission hears concerns from the public at a hearing.

"I can find pretty much everything here, except when it comes to specialty type stuff, I have to go into Harrisonburg," said Brenda Hartman, a Broadway neighbor.

"I'm not sure that Timberville is ready for a store that size and the increased traffic and the congestion that it'll bring with it. Not to mention, the impact on the other small businesses in town," said Andes.

The joint public hearing will be held sometime in mid-August. Garber said they haven't settled on a date yet, but when they do they'll be sure to let the community know.


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