Because of flood damage caused by the harsh weather in June 2008 FEMA has required the city of Martinsville to purchase a number of damaged properties.
Two property owners would not agree to sell, so the city is trying to condemn their land.
“Our attorney who’s been in charge of acquiring the properties has been in contact with the people trying to reach a settlement,” Martinsville Mayor Phil Deckard says. “We have two of them having not been able to reach an agreement, our only alternative then is to go forward with land condemnation to acquire the properties.”
The mayor says the land can no longer be used for housing and the two homes in question need to be torn down.
“The homes are uninhabitable,” he says. “For the most part they are open. They have been stripped by vandalism.”
If the properties are condemned, Martinsville says it could develop the area into a city park. Deckard said the land is in the footprint of the planned I-69 route, but he does not think the interstate will be built in that area for at least 10 years.