Martinsville Bulletin, Inc.
P. O. Box 3711
204 Broad Street
Martinsville, Virginia 24115
Toll Free: 800-234-6575
Editorial: Speak up at hearings
Sunday, April 15, 2012
Public hearings on Monday will give area residents a chance to speak out on issues that will help shape this community. For those who have concerns and comments, this is the time to make them heard.
First, the New College Institute will hold a hearing at 6 p.m. in the Albert Harris Elementary School library on its plans to construct an estimated $10 million to $15 million building on the Baldwin Block in Martinsville. The building is proposed to include instructional space, including bays for advanced manufacturing training; state-of-the-art technology; an area for gatherings; and an area for a tribute to the block’s namesake, the late Dr. Dana O. Baldwin.
This building is a concept at this point, so now is the time for residents with questions and comments to make them heard. Plans can be changed, as we saw last week when a second entrance was added on Fayette Street, and ideas can be considered more easily before the first funds are pledged and the first concrete is poured. NCI is making an effort to involve the community in this project, and we hope people take advantage of that.
At 7 p.m. Monday, a public hearing on the proposed fiscal 2012-13 Henry County budget will begin in the first-floor meeting room of the Henry County Administration Building. That $116 million proposal spells out funding for all county agencies and departments as well as many outside agencies that receive county funds.
The plan calls for no tax increases, but that does not mean it is without controversy. In particular, the Martinsville-Henry County SPCA is warning that it may have to abandon its program to increase animal adoptions from the county pound if it does not receive significantly more than the $7,267 it is earmarked to get.
Also, the Fieldale-Collinsville Rescue Squad was stunned that it did not receive $95,000 it had expected to cover, in part, the cost of a new ambulance. Instead, it is proposed to get $11,000, which is the difference between grant funds the squad has gotten for the vehicle and the $153,000 the county recently paid for a new ambulance.
Those are just two spending items that have provoked public discussion. There likely are other areas of the county budget that people want to praise, criticize or comment on as well.
We believe most people have the same goal — to create a better community with better services within the limited means available. Monday is the time for people to discuss how to accomplish that.