A progressive vision for capital projects tied to new economic impact theories that will be completed or in progress by 2012. The vision is tied to my belief which is shared by many others, that by improving quality of life for city residents and especially families, the city will naturally grow and progress in an economically sustainable and healthy fashion. Roanoke is a great place to live and especially to raise a family- by improving on this, our natural amenities and the many positives already flourishing in our city we will have healthy growth and a very progressive city which will attract young and old from diverse socioeconomic backgrounds for many many years to come.
Approaching these projects over four years serves four major purposes:
- Reflects a well balanced and progressive mindset of City Council ad the citizens of the City of Roanoke
- Brings multiple concepts and iniatives together in a synergistic and coordinated manner
- Reflects real budgetary contexts while still moving projects forward
- Ties many new economic and community development strategies, and our city’s vision and outlook plan to quality of life capital improvements while reflecting our natural environment and diverse needs
Economic and Community Development Initiatives
School Funding and Capital Projects
- Increasing the school funding formula from 36.42% to 38% of the adjusted local tax base, including funding provided for school capital projects, subject to savings generated by the School Division to match incremental revenue.
- Completion of Two High Schools, Patrick Henry in 2007 and William Fleming in 2010, including all weather track and field facility at William Fleming and stadiums on each campus.
- Continued pursuit of the sharing of joint services to allow both the city and school system to save money and redirect those savings
- To aggressively work with the school system and fund outcome specific programs focusing on accreditation and graduation rates
- Completion of the Colonial Green project by 2010 which will ultimately bring over 200 new housing units into the City.
- Focus of revitalization activities in the Hurt Park neighborhood to include new and renovated housing and associated infrastructure improvements
- CONTINUED INCENTIVES FOR DOWNTOWN REDEVELOPMENT AND RESIDENTIAL PROGRAMS
- Possible scaled down housing initiatives in other parts of the city, including Countryside.
- Continued financial consideration given to private developers with bold plans that will enhance housing and the economy within our city through grants (façade, extraordinary economic development incentives), tax abatement programs and other incentives
- Continued encouragement of green housing development and tax incentives based on energy efficiencies
Tax Base Enhancement
- Downtown Investments, including:
- Further improvements to the Farmers Market area to enhance space utilization and economic activity
- New parking garages
- Complete renovation of the Market Garage and the initiation of a development plan for construction of upper floor use- either commercial or residential in nature
- Expansion of the Hotel Roanoke to provide for greater room availability to support additional meeting and conference activity along with encouragement of other private hotel facilities in the downtown area
- Initiation of a Jefferson Street strategy which accomplishes improvement of streetscapes and establishment of a shuttle system from downtown to the Riverside Center by 2008
- Financial implications to encourage owners of unoccupied buildings to find tenants and or renovate them
- Significant financial support given to the development of the Taubman Museum of Art
- Continued Riverside Center Growth and Development, including:
- Construction of new Carilion Clinic Facility and associated parking by 2009
- Establishment of Medical School by 2010
- Implementation of Brownfield Program utilizing over $1.5Million in Grant Support from EPA along the Roanoke River Industrial Corridor, including South Jefferson Redevelopment area, Norwich, and Hurt Park/West End neighborhoods
- Completion of the Roanoke River Flood Reduction project by 2012
- Improved retail offerings and growth in all parts of our city, including Ivy Market, Valley View, and Downtown
Parks and Recreation / Quality of Life Initiatives
Parks and Recreation
- In FY-08, begin planning and implementation of the Parks and Recreation Master Plan elements based on prioritization by City Council, using $3.3 million in cash funding.
- In FY 2010 and 2011 continue implementing Parks and Recreation Master Plan elements in the Reserve Avenue area using anticipated funding in the amount of $30 million from the issuance of bonds. Potential projects include an amphitheater, outdoor water plaza, outdoor climbing area, adventure lake/kayak center, recreation center, and new synthetic turf athletic fields.
- Consideration and plans for a regional competitive aquatic center
- Development of new athletic field sites in the City of Roanoke
- An improved Elmwood Park, including a significantly improved stage and community amphitheatre
- Increased and improved greenspace in downtown
- In conjunction with community organizations- the development of 1 or 2 dog parks in the City of Roanoke
- Consideration given to feasible usages for Countryside, including: potential for a high quality and well maintained municipal golf course with specific benefits given to city residents, location of other athletic sites including athletic fields, tennis (indoor and outdoor) and aquatics. Also to be studied is the viability of other greenspace uses, greenways and some compatible housing sites.
Quality of Life
- Completion of the Martin Luther King Bridge and Statue project by 2008.
- Completion of the Greenway System as currently planned within the City by 2012, including the consideration of a ‘life science’ lab along the Roanoke River Greenway segment.
- Development of “other” supporting amenities along or near the greenway systems, including restaurants, outdoor retail, bike rental shops
- Initiation of Study to Reinstitute the Mill Mountain Incline by 2009.
- Completion of the debate and possibly the project by 2011, of the Mill Mountain Restaurant- either as a stand alone, environmentally compatible entity or as a supporting facility for the Mill Mountain Zoo- either in the zoo or beside it
- Financial support for the acquisition and rehabilitation of the Oliver Hill home in Gilmer as a legal aide center in 2007.
- Continue to commit funds to the “% for Art Program’
- Continued funding, partnerships and operations of the Clean and Green campaign to create a clean city while diminishing its carbon footprint
- Continued support- in kind and financial- of many of our arts and cultural organizations so vital to our city and the development of a sustainable method to work with the state to provide more continuity in funding for these organizations
- Continued implementation of the Library Master Plan, including:
- Installation of two “e-branch” library kiosks facilities by 2008.
- Completion of branch renovations/expansions at Gainsboro and Jackson Park, and creation of a storefront branch in an identified village center by 2008.
- Acquisition of land for a new full service branch location along the Peters Creek Road corridor in 2007, and completion of the design and construction of such full service branch by 2009.
- Completion of second full service branch, second storefront branch by 2012.
- Family Life and Recreation Centers
- Competitive Aquatic Center
- Explore Park
- Library Initiatives
- Park and Recreation Initiatives
- Storm Water, Runoff Solutions
- Water Quality Solutions
- Workforce Development
- This plan does not include the obvious day to day working of City Council and the Administrative Staff of the City of Roanoke. Such front of the line commitments and much higher priorities than some of the opportunities featured in this plan, include fire and safety, street and sewer maintenance, trash, and other daily municipal functions which are vital to any city.
- This plan is derived from multiple sources and people, and by no means represents “my plan” or “my accomplishments”. While many items have already been achieved, it will take the majority of council and the support of city administration to continue with many of these projects and to embark on many of the new projects listed here- often along with significant private and community support.