Wednesday, September 9, 2009
ROANOKE CITY COUNCIL – September 8, 2009
When is a four to two vote not enough? When it requires one of those pesky second readings. At the crucial vote authorizing the Director of Finance, Ann Shawver to issue $13.9 million in debt for public improvement projects Council member Court Rosen and Gwen Mason voted “no.” Without Council member Anita Price present it lacked a required five votes. It will be read again at the next council meeting on September 21.
Joyce Waugh, President of the Roanoke Chamber of Commerce and activing President of Downtown Roanoke Inc. Doug Waters spoke in favor of moving forward with the projects – especially those earmarked for bridge maintenance and renovation of the Market building. Both Waugh and Waters noted the favorable interest rate and the ability to contract projects at good prices in the current economic slowdown.
Council member Gwen Mason noted Governor Kaine’s state cuts announced just today saying “this year was a cakewalk compared with what’s coming down the pike.” This brought Mason to the conclusion where she did not have the “appetite” for any spending except for the necessities.
Shawver was asked to explain the resolution giving her the authority to issue the debt. She described it as part of the “public process.” The appropriation of funds for projects takes place separately per the projects agreed to by council. Projects not yet approved are Countryside Golf Course maintenance and Washington Park Aquatics Center.
Vice-Mayor Sherman Lea said he feels the pain of the State budget directly. Lea is employed by the State as Regional Corrections Director. Lea said Council has talked about these projects over the year and was ready to move forward with them.
There will be another community meeting on Washington Park pool options on September 24 before selecting one of three options. One of the options was for a full-blown aquatics center to the tune of $3.6 million. Countryside Golf Course maintenance would be about $1.2 million if adopted.
Posted By Valerie Garner
Categories: Finance, Politics, Roanoke City Politics
Tags: amphitheatre, budget, city_council, city_debt, Countryside, market_building, swimming_pool