Roanoke council supports part-time Roanoke chamber employee

The Roanoke Town Council pledged its support for the creation of a part-time employee position for the Roanoke Chamber of Commerce during its meeting on Tuesday, Feb. 20.

Stephanie McKibben, a member of the Roanoke Chamber of Commerce Board, explained to council why there was a need for such a position. McKibben noted that organizing the high number of tourism events conducted in Roanoke over the course of the year had become strenuous for the town’s stable of volunteers.

The new position, said McKibben, would provide assistance with event coordination. The person in the role would also manage the chamber’s website and social media accounts, she said.

Larry Buzzard, the owner of Spokesmen Cycling, in Roanoke, joined McKibben for her presentation and affirmed the need for the part-time employee. As the president of the Huntington County Commissioners, Buzzard noted that promoting tourism in the county was a priority for the commissioners and cited Roanoke as one of the county’s tourism hot spots.

To that end, Buzzard stated that he would speak to his fellow commissioners and gauge their interest in contributing funds to the position’s salary.

Pending further information, council voted to chip in $10,000 for the position. Clerk-Treasurer JoAnne Kirchner noted that that sum would be paid as a donation to the chamber.

Council unsealed bids for street improvement projects planned for this year. The projects include the reconstruction of Fifth Street from Seminary Street to Main Street; reconstruction of Seventh Street from Main Street to Commercial Street; mill and resurfacing of Fifth Street from Main Street to Commercial Street; mill and resurfacing of Seminary Street from Fourth Street to Fifth Street; and mill and resurfacing of Main Street from Sixth Street to Eighth Street.

The board received bids from Brooks Construction, $855,622; Wayne Asphalt, $765,365; and E&B Paving, $710,632.

Council voted to accept the bid from E&B Paving, pending a review of its submission by the town’s engineering firm for the projects, Fleis & VandenBrink.

In other business:

— The board gave Phil Hibbert, the town’s supervisor of operations and interim utility superintendent, permission to have rust repaired on a utility department truck. Repairs will be performed by C&C Auto Body, with Hibbert authorized to spend up to $1,500 on the work.

— The Roanoke Volunteer Fire Department (VVFD) received permission to spend up to $4,100 on the purchase and installation of a tankless water heater for the fire station.

— Chad Taylor, RVFD chief, noted that he was in the process of obtaining a bill from Summit Fire Apparatus, which is building the town’s new pumper fire truck, for the vehicle’s chassis to give to Kirchner.