The Roanoke City Council, by a 3-2 vote, decided to reopen the Roanoke Recreation Center under the previously approved rules for open gym activity. With the high school football season beginning this week and Handley hosting its first home game before the council will meet again, the need arose to reopen the recreation center so that visiting teams can use the locker room facilities to dress before games.
The center, which is in the final stages of renovation, had been closed since July 17 for open play after the council made the decision to shut it down amid backlash to the rules that were passed on June 26.
Mayor Jill Patterson-Hicks said Monday that Maurice Wright was working with a panel to revisit the rules and create a new recommendation to present to the council.
The council agreed to reopen the gym with the existing rules until those can be amended. Council members Tammi Holley and John Frank Houston voted against the measure. Council member Tommy Rushton was absent from the meeting.
Public service requests
Two requests from city officials came forward during Monday’s meeting regarding the impact of some citizens’ behavior on the city. Council member Mike Parmer asked that all motorists make it a point to avoid blocking intersections while stopped in traffic. This is particularly a concern during school drop-off and pickup hours at the intersection of Highway 22 and Allen Street and at the adjacent entrance to the McDonald’s parking lot. Traffic remains heavy during those hours and unaware drivers routinely block those intersections while the light is red.
City employee Tim Jacobs also asked that citizens bag all of their household trash before putting it in the bins to be collected. Unbagged trash is a health concern for garbage collectors and for the general public, as it attracts pests. Those concerns can be greatly reduced by simply placing the trash in bags.
The council approved the application of Chase Brown to join the Roanoke Police Department as a reserve officer. The PD has 19 available spots for reservists, and Brown filled one of the four that were not previously filled. The motion to accept Brown’s application was approved by a 4-0-1 vote with council member Tammi Holley abstaining.