By Debbie Adams
Members of Vinton Town Council reminded citizens of the upcoming change in traffic patterns
on Gus Nicks Boulevard beginning on Oct. 2. The speed limit will be lowered to 25 mph from
Garthright Bridge to the town limits. The town has done its best to inform motorists of the
changes with signage, flashing speed limit signs, message boards, and announcements on social
and print media, and on television.
At the council meeting on Sept. 19, Mayor Brad Grose emphasized that lowering the speed limit
at that gateway to the town is “all about safety” for foot traffic. There is increased activity in the
area due to new restaurants and businesses downtown, the upcoming completion of a new phase
of the Greenway, the anticipated addition of a crosswalk at Gish Mill, increased use of the
athletic field, and full occupancy at the Billy Byrd apartments. The change in speed limit is
meant to enhance the safety of the corridor.
In other council business, Assistant Town Manager Cody Sexton recognized Finance Director
Andrew Keen for completing the Graduate Certificate in Local Government Management
program at Virginia Tech (with a 4.0 GPA). The rigorous program trains future leaders in local
government administration. “We are very proud of him,” Sexton said.
Town Manager Pete Peters recognized Sexton for completing the Senior Executive Institute
Leadership Program at the Virginia Institute of Government at UVA—one of the most
prestigious programs available to local government managers across the nation.
“We have a great staff and good people always want to get better,” Grose noted. “This training
benefits the citizens of the Town of Vinton.”
Vice Mayor Mike Stovall read a Proclamation declaring Sept. 17-23 as Constitution Week in the
Town of Vinton—a national observance.
Two residents spoke to Council during the citizens comments section of the council meeting with
concerns about waterline breaks and leaks, signage, and road repair issues in their neighborhood
on Cedar Avenue and 4 th Street. Arrangements were made for them to meet at their home with
the town manager and public works director on Sept. 20 to determine solutions for the issues
they are experiencing.
Vinton’s Capital Projects Manager Jamie Hurt updated council members on several CIP projects,
both completed and ongoing:
The Woodland Place Stream Bank Restoration Project is mostly complete except for fall
plantings coming in late October. There was some damage to the area during the heavy
rains in July which displaced some of the boulders. The contractor will be mitigating the
The Walnut Avenue Phase I project is now complete except for the installation of guard
rails due to a manufacturing delay. Hurt said that all of the railing should be installed by
the end of this week, leaving only the paving to complete.
The Walnut Avenue Phase II project has gone well with few delays. Paving is underway
and should be completed this week.
The Glade Creek Greenway Phase II B project is at a standstill due to a utility conflict
and the need to relocate a waterline. Engineers are working to find a solution to the
problem which will then need to be approved by Roanoke County and the Water
The multi-generational park project continues with plans being made for demolition of
the blighted swimming pool on the property by the end of the year. Staff and consultants
are also working on the playground design for the park.
Peters briefed council members on a proposed Real Estate Property Lease for a portion of the 10-
foot public alley owned by the town at the rear of 109 and 111 South Pollard. This action will
support the expansion of the exterior patio and entertainment area of Twin Creeks Brewing
Company and is needed to meet ABC requirements relating to “having continuous authority of
the area.” Twin Creeks has recently added an outdoor Music Pavilion—The Creekbank. The
lease will help the business continue to expand their outdoor seating. A public hearing will be
held on Oct. 3. This will be a one-year lease with four additional years of renewal.
A public hearing was held to solicit public comments on accepting the Virginia Outdoors
Foundation Open Space Lands Preservation Trust Fund grant of $218,295, which will be used
for Phase I of the multi-generational park project. The resolution to accept the grant was
Council next adopted a resolution awarding a construction bid and authorizing the town manager
to execute a contract with Bowman Excavating, Inc., in the amount of $619,850 for construction
of the Walnut Avenue parking lot. The lot will be located downtown behind the Vinton Farmers’
Market and include 81 parking spaces. The project will also include sidewalks, retaining walls,
site lighting, landscaping, and new drainage structures.
The only other bid received was roughly $200,000 higher. The town’s original estimate for the
eagerly-awaited and much-needed parking lot was about $350,000; however, the current
construction environment and materials costs have led to significant increases. Fortunately, the
town is able to move funds from other projects to cover the cost. The plan is for work to begin on
the project in December, with completion by the Dogwood Festival in April.
Council also approved an easement for the Roanoke City Glade Creek restoration project
underway near Gish Mill. This Roanoke City project will improve the quality of the water in
Glade Creek by reducing sedimentation.
Public Works Director Bo Herndon reported on the latest Public Works committee meeting. He
noted that the town’s fall paving schedule will begin in Oct. and will be prioritized with some
repaving pushed back until spring. The dumpster pad is being enlarged at the Vinton Farmers’
Market to assist downtown businesses and events. Traffic signal issues are being addressed at
several intersections, with parts on order.