Thursday, October 18, 2007

Guide to Roanoke Parks & Recreation

Did you get your guide to Roanoke Parks and Recreation today? The cover picture of Mill Mountain with the Wachovia tower and Mountain View Mansion in the background was really an eye-catcher. As I paged through the guide, the listings of parks and recreation centers with activities aplenty – I wondered if by chance the City-owned Countryside Golf Course would make it’s way into the guide. Not to my surprise – it was no where to be found.
However, under “the youth” on page 28 there was: First Tee Golf (8-17) Through Playing golf, a child can have a wonderful outdoor recreational experience while developing coordination, character and sportsmanship. Complete all six classes and receive a certificate for additional opportunities. FREE – no mention of Countryside Golf Course the City-owned Municipal golf course.

Turning a few more pages I came to “investing in Roanoke’s p&r system” where an article by Vic Garber, Superintendent of Operations at P&R wrote about the recent Roanoke Parks and Recreation Master Plan update. The first bullet caught my eye “Ensure the plan is what the citizens of Roanoke want”. Since many of the Countryside Neighborhood attended these meetings I am not sure how seriously I should take that bullet point.

As I read the list of Capital Improvement Projects and the amount of $$ allocated for each one I eagerly searched for any of the 13 projects that had the word “golf” in it. I was disappointed. The closest thing was number five (5) which read “Land Acquisition: additional lands for NW neighborhood parks; a regional sports facility with Roanoke County; finish the greenway system: $3.3 million.” This seems like an awful lot for just $3.3 million and sounds more like leftovers from the total allocation of $74,893,000. Heck, the golf course cost $4.1 million. $3.3 million won’t even pay off the $4 million loan the City took out on the property.

Who/what received the largest slice of this pie? THE WINNER IS: a Multi-Purpose Community Recreation Center (not in NW) for $21.8 million. You see we were told at the Parks & Rec final plan presentation that NW will get to share with Roanoke County the I-581/I-81 planned recreational complex. Well someone needs to inform Roanoke County because the Parks and Recreation Director there basically said HUH?

The last paragraph in the article reads: “Is it worth investing in this plan?” When Roanoke City puts the first dime into this golf course my answer will be “yes” but until then …. 4.4% of this $75 million pie is just not quite a big enough slice for Northwest.

Posted By Valerie Garner

Categories: Community



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October 19th, 2007 at 2:42 AM    

Good stuff Valerie. You might be interested to know that I’ve attended three supervisor meetings this year(Jan, Aug, Oct) in Roanoke County where the new multi-generational recreation center off of I-581/I-81 was discussed.

Not one time has there been any mention of sharing the facility with Roanoke City.

As I understand it, County residents will have to pay a fee to use the facility. Perhaps other American citizens will be allowed in, but I’m sure they would pay a lot more. Again, that topic hasn’t been discussed in those three meetings.

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