Vinton Town Council held a somewhat brief public meeting on March 20, followed by a closed session to discuss gain-sharing negotiations with Roanoke County.
Highlights of the general meeting included recognition of Paramedic/Firefighter Chad Dailey by Fire and EMS Deputy Chief Chris Linkous for achieving his National Registry Paramedic Certification—the highest certification in the emergency medical care field.
Deputy Police Chief Captain Fabricio Drumond introduced four Co-Officers of the Month for February 2018—Sergeant Tim Lawless, Officer Kristopher Moore, Officer Danny Cox, and Officer Joshua Murray.
Vinton Volunteer First Aid Crew Chief Wayne Guffey presented his report on the activities of his organization for February with 1676 man-hours of service documented.
Chief Richard Oakes of the Vinton Volunteer Fire Department–just reelected–also presented a February report. Volunteers accumulated 127 man-hours of service during the past month with 51 calls dispatched to the Vinton Fire Department in February—25 during volunteer hours and 26 during career staff hours. Those with the highest man hours included Oakes (27 hours), Preston Gonzalez (24 man-hours) and Benny Powell (16 man-hours).
Oakes reported that recruitment efforts are continuing. A long-form PSA will be filmed by RVTV in the coming week in an effort to increase awareness of the organization and to boost membership.
Councilwoman Janet Scheid challenged the other members of council to observe Clean Valley Day on April 7 by cleaning up litter in the town as a group project as they have done for the past several years. They will concentrate on the Clearview Drive and Bypass Road areas.
Vinton Treasurer and Finance Director Anne Cantrell briefed council on a proposal from Enterprise Fleet Management. During discussions for the FY2019 budget, the town staff is considering a recommendation for a change in method on management of fleet vehicles, particularly Vinton police vehicles. Cantrell said that working with a vendor such as Enterprise would allow the town to plan for vehicle replacement, help control maintenance costs, improve and track fuel efficiency, and retain equity in the fleet.
In a Powerpoint presentation, she noted that Enterprise Fleet Management not only includes vehicle acquisition, but maintenance, risk management, fuel programs, funding programs, and selling of vehicles (now done as Public Surplus).
The key objectives in using the Enterprise Fleet Management System are:
- Lowering the average age of fleet vehicles—almost a third of the current fleet is over 10 years old and the resale is minimal
- Reducing operating costs—newer vehicles have lower maintenance expense and increased fuel efficiency using new technology
- Purchasing fueling through Wright Express—this would eliminate Town fueling pumps, reduce liability, and improve tracking of fuel efficiency
- Maintaining a manageable vehicle budget—the town is challenged by inconsistent yearly budgets as involves vehicles and the current vehicle budget is underfunded
Cantrell said the Enterprise Fleet Management currently serves the government sector and has added police vehicles to their services in the past two years. They are available to enter into cooperative procurement agreements and are being reviewed by the Finance/Budget Committee for the FY2019 budget.
Mayor Brad Grose and Councilman Keith Liles commented that the program “made sense.”
Council adopted a resolution in support of designating the Roanoke Valley Region as “Virginia’s Blue Ridge,” an action they were briefed on at a previous meeting by Landon Howard from the Roanoke Valley Convention and Visitor’s Bureau. Travel in Virginia’s Blue Ridge generates nearly $813 million in travel expenditures annually by visitors, supports almost 8,000 jobs, and provides more than $60 million in direct state and local tax revenue. Howard told council that the “Virginia’s Blue Ridge” brand promotes a positive and attractive image regionally, nationally, and globally.
Vice Mayor Matt Hare reported that talks continued with Valley Metro on alternate fixed routes at a recent Finance Committee meeting. RADAR alternatives are being explored as well.
Scheid urged council to begin serious work on a stormwater management plan for the town.
The next council meeting is scheduled for April 3 at 7 p.m.