Timberville Wal-mart Sparks Protests on Both Sides of The Issue

By: Carly Stephenson Email
By: Carly Stephenson Email

TIMBERVILLE, Va. (WHSV)-- The addition of a new Wal-mart to Timberville is a change that could affect the way we shop. One group called 'Protect Timberville', is handing out fliers, and has multiple signatures on a petition to keep the store out of their town.

Others say a new Wal-mart is a good thing.

While some worry about the change it could bring to the small town,
others say new jobs mean more success for a small area.

"Wal-mart doesn't ever give money back to the community, they take from the community, it's just not a good fit, we hope it will not come in," said Chip Harris, a committee member on the group against Wal-mart.

Harris gathered signatures for the group 'Protect Timberville' outside of Food Lion. She worries about what would happen to local businesses if a Wal-mart comes to town.

"Probably five or six little hair salons in this little community that will not be able to survive," said Harris.

Others who live locally weigh the pros and cons on what has become a heated issue on social media.

"Hate to see the farmland go too, but I hate to see people that don't have jobs. You know my sister just moved back from Texas, and she's a pharmacy tech but she can't find a job anywhere because there's nowhere that's hiring," said Marketia Palmer, a Valley neighbor.

"Could get a job at this new Wal-mart and help her family," said Joshua Zirkle.

On the support Timberville Wal-mart Facebook page, Zirkle wrote the following, "These local businesses have been price gouging us for years and it's high time we get some real economic stimuli on every level at every angle."

"if it doesn't do well, they'll abandon it," said Harris.

The Wal-mart is zoned to be located on South Main Street next to Plains Elementary School.

"Sell guns and they have alcohol and they're gonna be open 24 hours a day. So, we'll have terrible congestion when the buses arrive and take off," said Harris.

"But I don't feel like that's any different than the Food Lion or the Randy across from the school. It's just as much business going to be there as any other business," said Palmer.

Palmer identifies as neutral on the Wal-mart issue.

As neighbors weigh pros and cons, Wal-mart wrote in a statement that they look forward to working with the town to move the project forward.

If the town moves forward in the process, Timberville's town council would have to approve a rezoning application from Wal-mart to approve the project.

A public hearing for this will be at 6:30 p.m. on Aug. 22 at The Plains Community Center.

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