CHRISTIANSBURG – The Christiansburg Town Council has agreed to fund SROs for town schools after a back-and-forth standoff with Montgomery County Board of Supervisors.
The Town Council had previously requested the Board of Supervisors cover the costs of the school resource officers but were not met with approval. On January 10, 2023, according to the town’s agenda during the Tuesday, July 11 meeting, the council members stated that they would resign the officers from the school system and put them on patrol, effective July 1, 2023.
The Board of Supervisors did not meet with Council to discuss paying an additional $203,000, the cost of supporting three officers that the council members had asked for. However, the Supervisors did budget for three school resource officers to be provided for the county schools in Christiansburg.
“There’s no animosity or hard feelings amongst this Council to any of those board members,” Mayor Mike Barber said during the meeting. “It’s a matter of fact that we’re willing to pay for the safety of our children and they’re not.”
A Cooperative Agreement for School Resource Officers was also approved in a 6-0 vote by Council which states the purpose of inclusive and mutual work between Chief of Christiansburg Police Mark Sisson and Montgomery County’s Sheriff Hank Partin and their departments. This cooperation of police departments will allow for a resource officer to be placed in each of the six Christiansburg schools.
“There is value in that part, where our students will be protected in every school that they go to,” Council Member Henry Showalter said.
Also at Tuesday’s meeting, the Street Committee addressed two requests for road closures. One concerns Water Street with a request for a two-week closure and the other is Church Street at North Franklin for a period of about two months.
“It’s just closing the entrances to those trees or where those connect to North Franklin for Water Street and North Franklin for Church Street,” said Council Member Tanya Hockett. “The reason is because Atmos Energy is repairing or replacing some gas line in that area and in order to do that they need to stage their equipment.”
Hockett said the closures are for staging rather large equipment, and once that equipment is staged, the roads can be reopened.
Town Manager Randy Wingfield said the closure for Church Street would be this coming week with the Water Street closure coming later.
Council voted in approval of the two street closures with the understanding that citizens will be notified of detours in place.
Christiansburg Town Council also certified the appointment of the Fire Department Officers for 2023 per election results. A complete list of the officers can be found on the town council’s agenda at www.christiansburg.org.
Street closures on East Main Street, from Franklin to Pepper Street, were announced by council for August 19, 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. for the annual Heritage Day Festival event. The hours of the festival will be 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.