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Roanoke resident questions recreation center rules

Roanoke resident Rosalyn Langston addressed the Roanoke City Council at Monday’s meeting, questioning the recently adopted rules for the Roanoke Recreation Center.

At their June 26 meeting the council passed a set of rules governing public play on the basketball court at the recreation center. Some of those rules drew criticism at the time from council member Tammi Holley, who voted against the measure to adopt them.

Langston echoed some of those concerns during the public comments portion of Monday’s meeting, specifically addressing the requirement of either a photo ID or a utility bill as proof of residency for those seeking admission to the recreation center.

The adopted rules require either a driver’s license, a city-issued ID card or a photo ID in conjunction with a household utility bill in the person’s name. The City of Roanoke will issue a photo ID to Roanoke residents for $15.

Anyone who does not provide proof of residency can still play at the recreation center with a one-day guest pass, which costs $5 per day.

Langston expressed her concern about the financial burden that those fees – either for the ID card or for the one-day pass – could create for some of Roanoke’s poorer residents, who may also not have a utility bill in their name.

Langston suggested the idea of having an online registration and city-issued keycards, a system she said is used by recreation departments in other nearby municipalities. That way the city could still know who is using the recreation center without having to check for identification at the door.

The city has spent approximately $100,000 in renovations at the recreation center over the past couple of years, including the installation of a new gym floor. The rules were passed in an effort to alleviate some of the wear and tear on those renovations and keep the gym looking nice.

No action was taken based on Langston’s comments. Public comments are held to a three-minute per person time limit at council meetings, and when her time expired Langston indicated that she had more to say and would come back to future council meetings to address those concerns.

Roanoke Recreation Center