Virginia sells National Guard Armory to Martinsville for $1, Bird Scooters approved for city limits

Published: Jun. 14, 2022 at 9:12 PM EDT
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MARTINSVILLE, Va. (WDBJ) - Mayor Kathy Lawson and Martinsville City Council members accepted ownership of the National Guard Armory from the Commonwealth of Virginia on behalf of the city of Martinsville Tuesday. The building has been empty nearly two and a half years on Commonwealth Boulevard. With new city ownership, council members can decide the best way to use the building and surrounding lot.

“It’s prime real estate, and it might be that we enter into a contract with someone who wants to buy it,” Mayor Lawson said.

Lawson explained the first step post-ownership is to do a facility inspection for safety and health hazards. Once the building is inspected, Martinsville City Council will ask the community for requests and recommendations about the building’s use.

Another item on Martinsville agenda was the approval of Bird Scooters within city limits. Council members approved a Memorandum of Understanding with the company to operate for twelve months as a “trial” period. During the first year, 50 scooters will be available for use. Officials estimate the scooters will be in Martinsville by the Fourth of July weekend.

“I think they’ll be extremely popular with gas prices rising and with the summertime, it’s really warm outside,” Lawson said. “So if you can hop on a scooter and use it during the day, that would be much better than walking a couple of miles in the heat.”

In January, the city of Martinsville filed a reversion motion to be a part of Henry County again. If the reversion goes through by the end of the year, neither of the Monday council agenda items will be affected in the transition back to Henry County.

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