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Martinsville takes note of South Boston's experience from city to town change

South Boston Town Manager Thomas Raab presents the good and bad things that resulted from South Boston's shift from city to town. (Photo by: Kyle Wilcox)

MARTINSVILLE, Va. (WSET) -- The Martinsville City Council heard from a former South Boston councilman on Tuesday night, who said the reversion for the former city was necessary.

South Boston shifted from a city to a town in July 1995. It was the first Virginia city to revert to a town.

Former South Boston councilman and now Town Manager Thomas S. Raab presented the council with the pros and cons of the town's transition years ago.

Raab said that the town could not afford being a city because of taxes and other costs.

He said the reversion helped them consolidate costs and keep South Boston from going bankrupt.

One longtime resident of Martinsville believes Martinsville should absolutely make the change.

"There are too many services that are being done in the city for the city people and in the country for the county people. I think if we consolidated all of those operations that would be a cost savings," Bill Moorefield said.

Mayor Gene Teague told us the city council is not currently looking to change Martinsville to a town, but just wanted feedback from someone who has gone through the process.

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