After discussing the possibility of moving its police headquarters at last week’s City Council Meeting, the City of Roanoke took official action Monday toward making that move a reality.
The council agreed to a $75,000 purchase price for the Main Street building currently owned by the county Water Authority. The building destined to be the new home of the city’s police department sits between the Randolph Leader and Southern States Bank on Main Street.
The move will take place within the next several months as renovations must be done to the Main Street building to make it suitable to the police department’s needs. Renovations are estimated to cost around $175,000 to put a new HVAC system in, replace the current roof and make changes to the interior to provide the necessary office space and restrooms. The parking layout will also be updated to accommodate the needs of the PD and its fleet of patrol vehicles.
The move will also spell the end of the city jail. The new building will not have room for detention facilities, so the city will contract with the county to house its inmates in the new county jail. The change will also likely put municipal court proceedings back at City Hall, as the current Justice Center is home to the police, jail and city courtroom.
In the eyes of some city officials, including councilmember Kesa Johnston, the city had no choice but to look for a new home for the PD. The current Justice Center is riddled with problems including mold, leaks and flooding throughout the aging facility.
The city has not made definitive plans as to what will happen to the current building, but demolition is on the table since repairs to the building’s long list of problems are deemed to be cost prohibitive.
Widening Airport Road
The council voted Monday to approve an estimated $40,000 price increase for the planned resurfacing of Airport Road. That increase will pay for the widening of the road from 21 feet to 23 feet. The wider surface was deemed necessary as that road serves as a main thoroughfare for livestock transportation from Highway 431 to the Roanoke Stockyards on Chestnut Street.
The city had previously agreed to include Airport Road as part of its first wave of street resurfacing projects set to begin next spring.
After spending seven minutes in executive session discussing potential real estate deals, the council re-entered its regular session and agreed to sell eight acres of city property. The land is a tract located on Industrial Drive and will be sold to Cornerstone Church for $35,000.
The church had recently purchased adjacent land to the city’s plot and needed the extra acreage to accommodate a planned construction project.