By Debbie Adams
Antonia Arias-Magallon has been appointed Town Clerk for the Town of Vinton. The
announcement was made at the Vinton Town Council meeting on August 15. She was hired as
Administrative Manager for the town in January 2023 when Susan Johnson retired from her
positions as Town Clerk and Executive Assistant. Arias-Magallon previously served as Assistant
to the City Administrator in Glendale, Mo.
She began her professional career in local government as an intern for the City of Hazelwood,
Mo., in 2021, where she saw the importance of what local governments can do for communities.
She graduated from University of Wisconsin–Stevens Point with her Bachelor of Arts in Political
Science in 2019, and her Master’s Degree in Public Administration in May 2022 from Southern
Illinois University Edwardsville. Her term as Town Clerk begins on September 1, 2023, and ends on December 31, 2024.
In other action at the council meeting, a public hearing was held on an ordinance granting a deed
of easement of a parcel on Walnut Avenue to Viking Fence Company, Inc. in conjunction with
the town’s development of the Walnut Avenue Bicycle and Pedestrian Accommodations Project
which runs from 5 th Street to the town’s west limits. The project will improve pedestrian access
and safety along Walnut Avenue, provide for safer bicycle accommodations, and complete a
connection for the Vinton’s Glade Creek Greenway and the City of Roanoke’s Tinker Creek
Greenway. The construction project has been funded by a VDOT Surface Transportation Block
Grant. Council approved the ordinance.
Town Council also adopted a resolution joining its regional partners in supporting the extension
of the Roanoke-Blacksburg Airport (ROA) Runway 6-24. According to a summary written for
council on the resolution, “Currently the ROA has a passenger leakage rate of 70%, meaning that
70% of passengers choose to travel out of the region’s catchment zone to fly out of another
airport. As the region’s health science and autonomous transportation industries continue to
grow, it is imperative that the area has an FAA-compliant runway and more direct flight options
to similar hubs throughout the country. The airport’s current layout cannot support these needs,
which are vital to attracting, retaining, and growing regional economic development
“ROA is currently operating under an FAA waiver for safety overrun areas. Runway 6-24 is an
instrument approach runway that operates under the FAA waiver because it does not have the
required runway overrun safety area of 1,000 feet extending beyond the end of the paved right-
of-way surface. Addressing this issue is best accomplished by shifting the runway west and
extending it over Interstate 581.”
Assistant Town Manager Cody Sexton presented a report from the Finance Committee,
emphasizing the “extremely strong financial position” of the town, who has been “good stewards
of the taxpayers’ money” and prudent in spending. For “all intents and purposes, the town
remains debt-free.” Revenues continue to outperform expectations, with substantial growth in
sales taxes, meals taxes, pari-mutuel taxes, and VDOT funding. The town has budgeted
conservatively this year and next year to weather any potential downturns in the economy. It has
also made a concerted effort to grow cash investments by taking advantage of current high
interest rates. Interest earned is being reinvested in CIP projects to benefit citizens.
Vice Mayor Mike Stovall commended staff for their efforts to spend and invest wisely,
commenting in particular on the increasing number of business licenses issued by the town.
The Finance Committee report also included an update on the Multi-generational Park Project to
be located on the former Vinton pool site. Associate Planner Fayula Gordon was commended
once again for her “phenomenal efforts” in grant writing which enabled the town to secure a
grant for $218,295 to be used for the park project.
Assistant Planning and Zoning Director Nathan McClung presented a report from the
Community Development Committee. The town is researching and considering changes to the
Animal Public Nuisance Ordinance. Town Council will also be making a decision on whether to
contribute financially to the Regional Skate Park to be located in Roanoke City, but accessible to
Vintonites via the Greenway and Metro systems. The park will be maintained by the City of
McClung also discussed the proposed Downtown Commercial Overlay District, involving
historic tax credits, which could potentially permit moving the iconic Cundiff Pharmacy sign
back downtown to its original location.
Town Manager Pete Peters updated council on speed reduction action plans for East Cleveland
Avenue and Gus Nicks Boulevard. The Western Virginia Water Authority has completed the
waterline replacement project on East Cleveland, and the road has been paved. The town is now
in the midst of developing a striping plan for the much-traveled corridor to make it safer for
passers-through and residents.
A traffic engineer has designed a striping plan for the length of East Cleveland. Temporary
markings have been placed on the roadway to indicate the new striping pattern, with yellow tags
marking the center line and white tags marking areas of on-street parking. Peters emphasized that
while the white markings might appear to indicate bike lanes, there will not be bike lanes on East
Cleveland– the street is too narrow. It is also too narrow for on-street parking on both sides of
The town plans to add “No Parking” signs and yellow-painted curbs to assist residents in making
the transition to the new pattern.
Mayor Brad Grose commended town staff for being forward-thinking on the project, which
could have just involved replacing waterlines and repaving, but instead takes into consideration
future needs and safety concerns with the new striping pattern.
As for Gus Nicks Boulevard, the town plans to extend the 25-mph speed limit from Garthright
Bridge to the town limits on Gus Nicks Boulevard. The speed limit is currently 35 mph on that
short stretch of roadway. There will also be narrowing of lanes with a new striping plan on that
According to the town, “future activity and vehicle density in the area will require increased
pedestrian and vehicle safety enhancements” as the town continues to grow, especially in the
downtown area. A crosswalk will be installed across Gus Nicks in the spring of 2024; Gish Mill
will soon be undergoing renovations bringing in at least three new businesses; the Billy Byrd
Apartments are fully occupied; there is Glade Creek Greenway Trailhead parking off of Gus
Nicks; the athletic field below the Billy Byrd is used extensively; and Glade Creek Phase 3 will
be connecting Vinyard Park via Garthright Bridge. The new Pollard 107 South restaurant will be
opening soon, and business is booming at Vinyard Station and the outdoor music pavilion at
Twin Creeks Brewing. All are reasons to reduce speed in the area.
The town plans a media blitz in late August to keep citizens informed of the changes on both
East Cleveland and Gus Nicks.