The City of Roanoke has released Roanoke Star City Strong: Response-Recovery-Resiliency, a framework for its plans to move from responding to COVID-19 to supporting the community’s economic recovery and ensuring its resiliency against similar threats in the future.
The City intends to initiate its recovery plan concurrent with the Governor’s guidance and Executive Orders. Recovery will occur in phases and include the limited reopening of municipal facilities to the general public, as well as the city’s greenways.
To support its recovery efforts, the City has established four staff Working Groups and will establish a Community Task Force on Recovery and a Recovery Fund dedicating at least $1 million toward these efforts.
To assist in its efforts at Recovery, the Mayor and Council members will individually engage in virtual conversations with community members about the challenges with recovery and how the City may be able to help address those challenges and support them. A summary of these conversations will be presented at an upcoming Council meeting.
Additionally, the City collaborated with the Roanoke Regional Partnership in forming an Economic Advisory Panel consisting of representatives from key sectors of the local economy. This panel will assist the Partnership and the City in understanding how the local economy is performing during recovery, where they may need support and how economic trends may impact the City’s budget and its ability to deliver essential services.
“Since March, the residents of Roanoke have endured unprecedented hardships and inconveniences, many have become ill and, sadly, some have perished due to the coronavirus,” said Roanoke Mayor Sherman P. Lea. (Editor’s Note: as of time of publication no Covid-19 deaths have been reported in Roanoke City or the Roanoke Valley.)
“Through these challenging times residents, business owners, health care workers, and public employees have demonstrated a grit and commitment to persevere. It is this determination that will carry us through this recovery and ensure that Roanoke remains the shining star of Southwest Virginia.”
City Manager Bob Cowell added, “This organization has been through times like none we’ve ever seen, and I couldn’t be prouder of how each and every employee has risen to the challenge. The support that the 1,700 employees of the City and I have received from the Mayor, Council, and the community has been greatly appreciated. Even though we must remain vigilant in our response to the virus that very much remains in our community, we look forward to supporting recovery efforts in the City and taking the actions necessary to make us even stronger as we go forward.”
Highlights of the Roanoke Star City Strong Framework were presented in a virtual press conference on May 6th. Detailed information is also available on the City’s website.