Blacksburg begins talks of possibly becoming a city

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BLACKSBURG, Va. (WDBJ7) Blacksburg is discussing the possibility of separating itself from Montgomery County and becoming a city of its own.

Official talks began Tuesday within the town's government.

The town council members met at Blacksburg Motor Company for a work session.

One of the items on the agenda was Discussing Issues Related to City Status.

Mayor Ron Rordam confirmed in an email that the talks did, in fact, begin.

Obviously this would be a heavily involved process.

In order for Blacksburg to become a city, the town will need to petition Montgomery County Circuit Court.

Circuit Court will notify the Virginia Supreme Court, which would appoint a special court to hear the case.

But first, Blacksburg must fit the criteria laid out in Virginia Code.

There must be at least 5,000 people living here; fiscal ability to provide urban services, like schools; and it can't hurt Montgomery County's ability to serve the remaining population, particularly in education.

The Commonwealth would then consider its own interest in whether or not Blacksburg should be a city.

If ever petitioned and approved, Blacksburg residents could no longer vote in county elections, but wouldn't need to pay county property taxes.

The Town Manager's Office and all five town council members were called following the work session. But calls were unanswered and not returned.

A person attending the meeting tells WDBJ7 Mayor Rordam brought the discussion up due to frustration with over the Old Blacksburg High School property. Town council talked about a study done in 1982 about becoming a city, and they're likely to redo that study.

Not many details were discussed, the person who wishes to remain anonymous said. However the council did come to a consensus to explore the possibility further, they said.

The town manager and town attorney will look into the possibilities and into a study and come back to town council again at a future meeting.

WDBJ7 will be following up with the Town to confirm exactly why they're bringing this up now.