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Roanoke to buy second garbage truck

Discontent with the notion of waiting at least another year for a second garbage truck, the city of Roanoke took action Monday to cut that wait time short.

The Roanoke City Council agreed Monday to purchase a second truck at a cost of just under $310,000, a move that canceled a previous agreement to buy a second truck identical to the one in use.

That original second truck was at least a year away from being delivered, and the city was put face to face with its one-truck dilemma when the only truck in use temporarily was out of service last week.

“What do we do if that truck breaks down?” asked Mayor Jill Patterson-Hicks. “We can’t wait that long to get another truck here.”

The truck that the council agreed upon Monday is a larger unit, with a greater trash capacity and a dual rear axle. That size could make accessibility an issue on smaller city streets, but Patterson-Hicks said that the options were limited on finding a vehicle that could be delivered in a timely manner.

The city took over garbage collection in March of this year. According to Patterson-Hicks the trash collection crews have reduced their daily route times from about 14 hours a day to less than 11 hours a day as they have gotten accustomed to the workload.

“It’s been a little bit of a bumpy road getting this off the ground, but things have gotten a lot better,” she said.

The vote to purchase the larger truck passed unanimously. Council members Tammi Holley and Kesa Johnston were absent from the meeting.

New EDA director

Adam Slay, the chairman of the Randolph County Economic Development Authority board, spoke to the council at Monday’s meeting to introduce new EDA director Chris Dunlap. Dunlap was hired May 1 to replace Bryant Whaley, who departed earlier this year for a job in Prattville.

Dunlap’s father is Phillip Dunlap, who is the director of economic development for the City of Auburn.

Paving

Paving projects seem to greet Roanoke drivers at every turn these days, with the ongoing resurfacing on Highway 431 and other smaller projects taking place on Franklin Road and West Point Street.

Patterson-Hicks said she understands the frustration with traffic delays caused by these projects, but she reminded everyone that it will be worth it once they are done.

“Once the projects are completed, it will be very nice, and we’ll all appreciate it,” she said.

Rec center renovation

The council also heard from recreation director Jerri Gabriel, who offered rave reviews of the ongoing renovation at the recreation center. The new gym floor has been installed and is “beautiful,” according to Gabriel.

“I’ve had several kids come in and look and they are ecstatic,” Gabriel said.

The renovation is not quite complete with some painting and cleaning that still needs to take place. Gabriel said the center could be ready to reopen fully by the beginning of July.

Meeting notes

In other action Monday the council approved an alcohol sales license for the new Dollar General on 431 South, and met in executive session for over 40 minutes discussing a real estate matter.

Roanoke sanitation department

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