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In Vinton, funding will propel numerous projects

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The town of Vinton is moving forward with numerous projects.

The rest of the fiscal year is filled with a variety of capital projects for Vinton.

The town hopes to fund several projects ranging in size over the next 11 months using a mix of carryover funds, grant money and American Rescue Plan Act funds, totaling more than $5.5 million, according to Assistant Town Manager Cody Sexton.

Among the projects discussed include the Walnut Avenue bike and pedestrian accommodations project, Garthright Bridge improvements, the ongoing greenway project, the Gish Mill redevelopment projects and various paving, restriping and milling projects on the town’s roads.

Sexton said the projects slated for the current fiscal year were either leftover from last year’s budget, or have already been partially funded but will now receive the funding to finish them.

The town is also now more readily available to work on various projects since giving its water and sewer related duties and infrastructure to the Western Virginia Water Authority beginning in July, Town Manager Pete Peters has previously stated.

Sexton said the restriping of the town’s roads this year is a project which would ideally be done every other year, but has not been something the town has kept up with lately.

He estimated the cost to be approximately $75,000 annually when speaking to the town council at last week’s meeting.

The Walnut Creek Avenue improvements will run from Fifth Street to the town’s west limits, with a focus of increasing walking and bicycling.

“This is a project that involves a sidewalk, a multi-use path, crosswalks, other pedestrian accommodations, streetscaping and repaving along Walnut,” Sexton told the council.

Sexton said the project has been in the making for years and is ready to start soon.

The council later voted to authorize Peters to award the project contract to Jones Road & Bridge Inc,. in the amount of $1.4 million.

Funding was also awarded for the Garthright Bridge project in the amount of $421,065 to Burleigh Construction Co. Inc.

Routine inspection led engineers to recommend minor improvements to the bridge, aimed at extending its overall life expectancy and prolonging a more expansive project in the immediate future, according to Sexton.

Vinton will also be funding phase 2b of the Glade Creek Greenway is getting an extra boost from some grant funding, and will connect the existing part of the Glade Creek portion of the trail to Walnut Avenue, Sexton said.

Sexton said the design phase is well under way and the town hopes to put the project out to bid sometime this fiscal year.

Sexton also noted the “hallmark project for Vinton,” the Gish Mill redevelopment, will also continue this year.

“We are set to acquire that piece of property from the developer by the end of September,” he reported.

Sexton was sure to say that while some of the projects will be started or completed this fiscal year, which ends at the end of June 2023, others may be moved to next year’s list just as is being done right now.

The amount of funding for the projects is broken down to roughly $2.1 million in carryover funds from last year’s budget, $1.9 million in grant funding and $1.5 million in ARPA funding.

A final vote allocating the money for the projects is set for the next town council meeting in September.

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Sam Wall covers Roanoke County and Salem. He can be reached at (540) 981-3356 or sam.wall@roanoke.com

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