Apr 19

Roanoke Recap – April 19

Posted on April 19, 2019 at 11:53 AM by Melinda Mayo

Published twice a month, Roanoke Recap is a blog to keep citizens informed about recent city news, events, and announcements. If you are reading this blog for the first time and wish to receive an email notification when a new blog is posted, please contact the Office of Communications at communications@roanokeva.gov.

Roanoke’s Car Share Program Wins ZEV Award

Virginia Clean Cities recently recognized Roanoke as the 2019 Zero Emissions Vehicle (ZEV) City of the Year for the city’s progressive Car Share Program, featuring the all-electric Nissan leafs. The program was selected as an exemplary concept for local governments to green their fleets and reduce harmful emissions.  Honored for being an early adopter, Roanoke was recognized for its continued leadership as the 2017 recipient of the Diesel Reduction Champion for their propane fleet, and for the early deployment of a public DC Fast Charger. Virginia Clean Cities works with vehicle fleets, fuel providers, community leaders, and other stakeholders to save energy and promote the use of domestic fuels and advanced vehicle technologies in transportation.

City Achieves Better Building Challenge Goal Early

In 2012, the City of Roanoke joined the U.S. Department of Energy’s Better Building Challenge to make city facilities energy efficient, committing 30 buildings or 1.16 million square feet to a 20% energy reduction by 2022.  After seven years of hard work, the city was recognized this week for officially exceeding its Better Building Challenge goal, achieving a 23 percent reduction in 2019 – three years early. The city dedicated over 1,000,000 square feet to the challenge. The largest wins are the Berglund Center with a 30 percent reduction and the Jail/Courthouse Complex with a 25 percent reduction. The Berglund Center is featured as a Showcase Project in the Challenge. Learn more about Roanoke’s commitment to the Better Building Challenge by clicking on this link.

Art by Bus Program Begins

This week RIDE Solutions, the Greater Roanoke Transit Company, and Hollins University joined the Roanoke Arts Commission in launching the 5th Annual Art By Bus program. Art By Bus promotes the value of public transportation to our community by bringing visual arts, musical performances, and inspired writing onto the Valley’s bus network. New to Art By Bus this year was a partnership with Hollins University led by Associate Professor Jennifer Printz, who worked with her class to create a series of original works, one of which would be selected to be installed on a Valley Metro bus. Student artist JM Lamb’s "Wishes" was chosen by representatives of Hollins University, the Arts Commission, and RIDE Solutions to be displayed this year. Read more about the program at the Ride Solutions website here and on Hollins University's website here.

Homelessness Point-In-Time Count Conducted

The Blue Ridge Interagency Council on Homelessness conducted this year’s Point-in-Time (PIT) count for the Roanoke region (Alleghany County, Botetourt County, Craig County, Roanoke County, the City of Covington, the City of Roanoke and the City of Salem) on the night of Jan. 23, with all individuals experiencing homelessness in the region on this night being counted and voluntarily surveyed. This year’s total count was 319, an increase of 0.6% over last year (317), but is 3.4% less than the 331 counted in July 2018. Homelessness has decreased by 43.1% since 2012. Read the full news release here. A copy of the full 2019 PIT report can be found on the Blue Ridge Continuum of Care’s website here.


Apr 05

Roanoke Recap – April 5

Posted on April 5, 2019 at 12:44 PM by Melinda Mayo

Published twice a month, Roanoke Recap is a blog to keep citizens informed about recent city news, events, and announcements. If you are reading this blog for the first time and wish to receive an email notification when a new blog is posted, please contact the Office of Communications at communications@roanokeva.gov.

River's Edge South Now a Designated Park Facility
This week, City Council voted to amend the City Code to include River’s Edge Sports Complex South as a “designated park facility” where alcoholic beverages may be possessed and consumed. In 2010, Council included River's Edge Sports Complex North on the list of approved locations for the sale, possession, and consumption of alcoholic beverages. This amendment adds the adjacent River's Edge Sports Complex South to the list, allowing special events such as the GO Outside Festival to utilize both properties in the same manner. Read the Council Report and Ordinance here. Click this link to learn more about the River's Edge Sports Complex.

Citizen Survey Results Are In
The City of Roanoke released the results of its 2019 Citizen Survey on Monday, April 1. Overall findings indicate that residents are satisfied with the services the city provides and the overall quality of life available in Roanoke. The city hired an outside vendor, Issues & Answers Network, Inc., to conduct the survey. You may view the Executive Summary
 and the Presentation to City Council online.

More Public Art Projects on the Horizon
Arts and Culture Coordinator Susan Jennings recently announced that in 2019, the city will collaborate with Hollins University for the Art By Bus program and a Hollins student will be selected for the Writer By Bus component. The city’s art collection will add two regional works purchased at the Roanoke College Biennial Exhibition, and the Art in Roanoke (AIR) program will add new temporary sculptures on the Elmwood Park Artwalk. The city also will add pieces at the new Melrose Library before its grand opening. Activities associated with Art By Bus and Writer By Bus
, and AIR exhibits are posted online. Roanoke's Public Art activities are funded by the Percent for Art Program, which allots one percent of certain items in the city's Capital Improvement Budget for the purchase of public art. 


Apr 05

Roanoke Recap - March 22

Posted on April 5, 2019 at 12:43 PM by Melinda Mayo

Published twice a month, Roanoke Recap is a blog to keep citizens informed about recent city news, events, and announcements. If you are reading this blog for the first time and wish to receive an email notification when a new blog is posted, please contact the Office of Communications at communications@roanokeva.gov.

Kiwanis to Gift Playground to City of Roanoke

At the March 18 City Council meeting, the Kiwanis Club of Roanoke gave an overview to City Council of their plans for Centennial Playground—their proposed project in the Melrose-Orange Target Area, adjacent to the Goodwill Campus on Melrose Avenue. The club wants to partner with other organizations and neighbors to create a gathering place for all ages. Kiwanis’ goal is to raise $400,000 for the equipment and land preparation, and will also apply for CDBG grant funds to help with costs. The project will include play equipment to accommodate physically challenged children, as well as exercise equipment for adults and teenagers. Kiwanis will gift the playground to the city. The projected opening of the playground is in June 2020. Click here to see the design concept posted on the Kiwanis Club’s Facebook page.

New Franklin Road Bridge Opens

The City of Roanoke held a ribbon-cutting/dedication ceremony on March 22 for the new Franklin Road Bridge (see photo below). Public art is also part of the new bridge, with works showing the rich history of the Old Southwest neighborhood displayed on the columns of the bridge. Old Southwest Inc. played a major role in helping secure a neighborhood grant for the art, and participated in selecting the artist for this work. The bridge is now open to serve the 9,600 motorists, along with many pedestrians and cyclists, who used alternative routes since its closure in January of 2017. Click here to see a video of the new bridge posted on Roanoke Valley Television's Facebook page. 

Franklin Road Bridge Ceremony with caption

‘Global Harmony’ to Complete Commemoration of Public Art Anniversary

The City of Roanoke will dedicate a new sculpture at 11 a.m. on Wednesday, March 27, in Entranceway Park at the corner of Williamson Road and Wells Avenue. “Global Harmony” (see artist rendering below) by Stephen Fairfield of St. David, Ariz., is the latest addition to the city's Public Art collection. The dedication of “Global Harmony” will end a year-long commemoration, "Ten Years of Public Art," organized by the Roanoke Arts Commission. Learn about the anniversary of Public Art here.

final rendering of hand breaking through rock

City to Host Public Works Jobs Fair

The City of Roanoke will host a Public Works Jobs Fair on Wednesday, March 27, from 4 to 7 p.m. at the Public Works Service Center, located at 1802 Courtland Rd. (behind Berglund Auto Group). The event will be free and open to the public. City department divisions participating in the Jobs Fair will include Parks, Fleet, General Services, Stormwater, Transportation, and Solid Waste. Through this event, the city hopes to increase visibility in the community and diversify the workforce by providing an opportunity to people from various backgrounds with diverse skill sets to gain employment.  See more details here.