Roanoke County recognized for model programs

(Roanoke County/Facebook)
Published: Aug. 11, 2021 at 5:00 PM EDT
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ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ) - The Virginia Association of Counties has awarded Roanoke County two Achievement Awards recognizing excellence in local government programs.

Of the 100 submissions received from across the state, only 30 were selected, including Roanoke County Public Libraries for providing continual services to citizens during the pandemic.

Staff transitioned to curbside services and offering more electronic resources, as well as using 3D printers to make more than 300 face shields for first responders, and adapting their drive-thru windows for use by the Treasurer’s office.

Shari Henry, director of library services for Roanoke County, says staff provided 18,000 craft kits for kids during the initial COVID-19 shutdown.

“The creativity of staff here to really want to keep all of that program going and find a way to give people so much to do was really amazing. It was really the heart of the staff, they drove so much of that,” said Henry.

The county was also awarded for its successful revitalization project for the Town of Vinton.

This consisted of preserving and redeveloping five historic properties, creating new jobs, and revitalizing the central business district.

A total investment of $21.7 million in taxable new investment and the creation of nearly 130 jobs.

“To do that all within one square mile of a central business district in your downtown is really beginning to make a difference; we’re getting the types of commercial growth that we were expecting from the beginning. So it was a very deliberate, strategic, targeted approach,” said Roanoke County Economic Development Director Jill Loope.

The board of supervisors recently approved another project for the Town of Vinton: a private partnership for a new downtown hotel.

This takes the county up to a $33 million investment, with 150 new jobs.

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