Roanoke County talking success, next steps during yearly address

ROANOKE CO., Va. (WDBJ7) Roanoke County is touting its successes, and looking ahead after its state of the county address.

It happened Thursday morning at the Green Ridge Rec Center.

Board of Supervisors Chairman Jason Peters and School Board Chairman Michael Wray gave addresses.
Peters talked about the new projects over the last year.

That includes the "Reimagine 419" project, a new Explore Park master plan, and the broadband effort.

Both say partnerships with other cities and counties play into future success.

"We are competing in a regional environment and we need to operate as a region,” said Michael Wray, Roanoke County School Board Chairman.

Jason Peters, Roanoke County Board of Supervisors Chairman, said: "And although our region has enjoyed many recent successes, there is still more we can do."

Looking forward, the county plans to improve transportation, the Roanoke/Blacksburg Regional Airport and mental health services.

ORIGINAL STORY

Roanoke County will be talking about its accomplishments so far this year and what work still lies ahead.

Redevelopment and new plans will be featured Thursday morning at the Green Ridge Rec Center.

To watch the live stream at 8 a.m., see the player below.

Click here if you're using the app.

We sat down with Jason Peters, the board chairman who will be speaking Thursday. Some of the major pushes he'll be highlighting include the broadband project that the board voted to approve this year. The plan adds about 25 miles of fiber through the county. He hopes it will help recruit tech companies.

Peters will also be touting the work going on along Route 419 and the Tanglewood Mall area. They'll be working with the new owners to help reinvent the area to unlock its potential.

Jason Peters, Roanoke County Board of Supervisors Chairman, said, “A lot of our millennials, they want to be in a place where they can shop, they can eat, entertain, they can sleep. And they want it all in one place. Tanglewood is a great area to do that because it is so close to downtown.”

One of the highlights, though, is a joint effort between the county, city of Roanoke and Salem to buy 106 acres of land along I-81 for economic development. He says that project should only be the first of more regional efforts.

Peters said, “This is a region and we need to embrace that as you see in other parts of the state. Northern Virginia. You don't talk about what a particular city does in Northern Virginia. You talk about Northern Virginia. And we've got to take that kind of regional approach here.”

Moving forward, Peters says he wants to focus on expanding the airport and transportation, as well as working on the mental health services available in the county.