Roanoke County BOS votes to stay in Interstate 73 Coalition

ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ7) - The Roanoke County Board of Supervisors voted Tuesday afternoon to renew their Interstate 73 coalition membership.

The yearly cost to be in the coalition is $24,000. It pays for a firm to lobby for the planned interstate that will run through Henry and Franklin Counties.

In a 3-to-2 vote, the county chose to stay in the coalition.

The following members voted yes: Martha Hooker, Phil North, P. Jason Peters.

The following members voted no: George Assaid and Joseph McNamara.

Board member Joseph McNamara explained his reason for voting against staying in the coalition.

"Last year I did vote against it, there was some talk that we'd see if we saw any progress next year. I think that I'm not seeing anything that," he said.

"Our CTB people are fighting for us for I-73. They are very good. I think our representatives in Virginia are very good fighting for us. I'm not sure that it's worth our 24 thousand dollars. So I'm not going to support it which I did not support it last year."

Co-executive director of the Interstate 73 Coalition John Stirrup said he is delighted Roanoke County is going to continue on with the coalition.

"Obviously if they had voted against us, it would have sent a very negative message to the other coalition partners and probably would lead to others perhaps dropping out in the future as well. But it's important to remain solidarity on this issue."

The coalition is made up of Roanoke, Franklin, and Henry counties along with the Cities of Martinsville and Roanoke.