Former Pulaski town employee still faces eviction after decision not made during town council meeting

New River Valley News

PULASKI, Va. (WFXR) — A decision has not been made regarding the eviction status of a former Pulaski town employee who was told to vacate the town-owned property he’s lived in since 1981.

The fate of Gary Martin’s home was up for discussion at the town council meeting on Tuesday, Oct. 20.

“I’m just hoping they’ll figure out what to do, whether to sell me the little spot of land my trailer sits on or something,” said Martin.

The former town employee currently resides at the top of the hill at Macgill Park. He’s had no problems living on the property until he got an eviction letter in September.

The home has fond memories for family members.

“It’s my home. It’s my children’s home, now it’s my grandchildren’s home,” says Martin.

After weeks of gaining support from the community through online petitions and rallies, Martin was looking forward to speaking to the council. However, he and his family were late to the meeting.

A family member told WFXR News that they were under the impression the public hearing started at 7 p.m. instead of 6:30 p.m.

When no one decided to speak on the topic, town council members pushed it aside and wrapped the meeting up in 30 minutes, just as Martin arrived.

Family members were seen outside the town’s chamber speaking with Mayor Shannon Collins, many of whom were angry and upset.

“It’s not just about this piece of land. It’s about his home. It’s where he lives. And it should be his,” said Bobbie Williams, Gary Martin’s ex-wife.

Collins spoke with the group for more than 20 minutes. He says will he understands their concerns, he wants to make sure the process is done legally.

Town leaders are already discussing the possibility of redeveloping the property for future housing.

“The property has a very high value. It’s in the middle of town and it’s 11 acres, which is well over $200,000 dollars,” says Collins.

According to Martin, the fight isn’t over. He and several other family members already plan on meeting with additional town council members in hopes of getting the issue resolved.

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