Retiring Roanoke College President Mike Maxey now has his own street. Monday night, Salem City Council unanimously approved “Maxey Way.” The street goes through the middle of the college from Clay and High Street to Perry Drive at the intersection of Thompson Memorial Drive. People will recognize that intersection where John’s Bridge is located, named for late Roanoke alumnus John Mulheren.
Mayor Renee Turk noted “It will be fitting to name it in recognition of Mike Maxey’s work at the college and the community.”
In other items at Monday night’s meeting, Council approved the Roanoke Regional Airport’s 2022-23 budget of $6.4 million in operating revenue. The airport’s Executive Director Mike Stewart made the presentation. Councilman Randy Foley asked what the community’s reaction has been to adding a Nashville flight. “It’s been very good. We’re thrilled,” Stewart answered. “It’s an opportunity to make the Roanoke Valley a Best Nation,” he said.
Council tabled until the May 9 meeting a rezoning request to allow other types of retail uses at Ridgewood Farms shopping area. Because no one was present from property owner MO Salem LLC and Midland Atlantic Properties management affiliate, Councilman Foley asked for the vote to be postponed. “It bothers me that no one came forward,” Foley said. “I feel like someone at least needs to be here.”
Council adopted a resolution allowing Western-Star Hospital Authority, doing business as Metro Health EMS, to establish a Transport Medical Services Agency. The vote was 4-0, with Councilman Bill Jones abstaining
Council appointed viewers to consider permanently vacating and disposing of an unopened alley in Salem Iron and Metal between Indiana and Florida streets. Gerald Beckner appeared, asking for the change, “so we can enclose our properties.”
During the Citizen Comment portion of the meeting, Council heard from John Breen who asked City Manager Jay Taliaferro to enforce codes to have removed construction debris, 17 junked cars and “a storage building that doesn’t look like it meets the building code” at Seventh and South Broad Street.
In the work session at 6 p.m. before the Council meeting, councilmembers heard a 30-minute technology update by the city’s Technology Systems Director Patrick Morton on projects and future plans. He told Council his department, among its myriad of jobs, provides a service department for the other departments of the city; does report design and creation; provides data storage for the police and fire department; and provides subject matter for Enterprise applications.
Morton said Technology Services is currently working on upgrading the city’s phone system and preparing to do network upgrades for downtown wireless. “We want to modernize the city website so we can add more pages,” he said. He added, “Technology is on the back side of everything in city government…It’s there and it just works.”
Councilman Foley asked how confident Morton was about the city’s computer system security. “We have multiple layers of firewalls,” Morton answered, “and we keep the firewalls up to date.” The council meeting adjourned at 6:58 p.m.
By Meg Hibbert Contributing Writer