Vinton Town Council meets in Midway Community
VINTON–The Midway community played host to Vinton Town Council and the Town’s staff at the annual “Council in the Neighborhood” meeting. The meeting was held at Living Water Baptist Church on Vale Avenue on October 16.
Town Council, joined by many members of the Town staff, took a walking tour of the neighborhood and then sat down with area residents to informally discuss issues of local significance.
“We want the Town to be responsive to the concerns of its citizens,” said Vice Mayor Wes Nance.
Comments and concerns ranged from compliments on the Town’s clean-up efforts in the area and the construction of the Glade/Tinker Creek Wastewater Interceptor Replacement Project to complaints about weeds and backed-up storm drains, and the safety of the water in the Falling Creek subdivision.
One citizen expressed concerns about the location downtown of the Quick Draw Competition at last weekend’s Vinton Fall Festival which caused some noise problems, especially for young children and pets in attendance. Council and Mary Beth Layman, Special Programs Director for the Town of Vinton, agreed that another spot might be better suited for the popular attraction next year.
Vinton’s newly hired Assistant to the Town Manager, Ryan Spitzer, was introduced to the staff and community by Vinton Town Manager Chris Lawrence. Spitzer has been Town Manager in Glasgow, located in Rockbridge County, and will assume his position in Vinton on November 5.
Chosen from over 120 applicants, Spitzer holds a bachelor’s degree from Virginia Tech in Environmental Policy and Planning, as well as a Master’s Degree from Tech in Applied Economics, and an MBA from Radford University. He has also completed his graduate certificate in Local Government Management from Virginia Tech’s Center for Public Administration and Policy.
Under Spitzer’s leadership in Glasgow, the town has been in the process of completing a $4.5 million upgrade to their water and sewer system. He has also focused on economic development of the town through capitalizing on the outdoor amenities with the proximity of the James River and Appalachian Trail.
“Ryan will bring a fresh perspective to his new role as a Business Advocate and his focus on Economic Development,” said Lawrence in an earlier statement. “His role will include oversight of the Vinton War Memorial and Special Programs Departments, as well as being project manager for Vinton’s downtown revitalization grant project.”
During its regular session following the community meeting, Council announced the re-appointment of William Booth to the Planning Commission for another four year term.
They received an update from Chief Ben Cook on the National Prescription Drug Take-Back Initiative held in the Kroger parking lot on September 29, which netted 126.8 pounds of prescription drugs being turned in for safe disposal by area residents.
Council adopted a resolution authorizing the Town Manager to execute the issuance of a General Obligation Bond for $500,000 for the Glade/Tinker Creek Wastewater Interceptor Replacement Project, following a public hearing.
Anita McMillan, Director of Planning and Zoning, briefed Council on the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) Revenue Sharing Grant for the Glade Creek Greenway and the receipt of a donation of $50,000 from Novozymes Biologicals, Inc., in matching moneys to help fund the project.
During the “Citizens’ Comments and Petitions” segment of the meeting, William Boyd, operator of Scorpion Towing and Recovery, expressed his concerns about zoning issues related to his police impound lot on 2nd Street in Vinton. Council and staff advised him to apply for an expanded special use permit which will allow storage of other types of vehicles on his lot.
Lawrence announced that VDOT is ready to proceed with the Walnut Avenue Bridge project, now estimated to cost $3.5 million. Bids will go out early in 2013. Disruptions to traffic will be minimal as a new bridge will be constructed alongside the old bridge, allowing traffic to continue to flow in the area.
Mayor Brad Grose briefed citizens on the new poles being erected on Third Street and throughout Vinton and Roanoke City by Appalachian Power as part of the Huntington Court Project. APCO is connecting two existing substations as part of an electric system upgrade to reinforce the regional electric supply.
The next meeting of Town Council will be on Election Day, November 6, at the Municipal Building. Council will be in retreat at the Vinton War Memorial on October 28 and 29 to set priorities for the Town for the upcoming year.