CHRISTIANSBURG – Police Chief Chris Ramsey presented the new command staff of the Christiansburg Police Department during the Christiansburg Town Council meeting on Oct. 24.
The new Assistant Chief of Police is Major Derek Altizer, who has served in law enforcement for over 30 years, with the last 14 years as the Captain of Support Services.
Altizer has served in many positions including “a general instructor, a defensive tactics instructor, a hostage negotiator and member and later supervisor for the Department’s honor guard,” Ramsey said. “He has extensive command level experience with all agency administrative and operational functions and I’m confident he’ll be an excellent assistant and chief.”
Captain Carson Altizer has 28 years of law enforcement service beginning with the Game and Inland Fisheries and has been with the Town of Christiansburg since 2002. Serving in many roles throughout his time as an officer, he has also instructed courses and led the emergency response team for ten years.
Captain Randy Bonds law enforcement career began in Blacksburg in 1997. In addition to the roles he has filled throughout his 28 years of service, Bonds has been the Lieutenant of Criminal Investigations for the past 14 years. He has also worked in several programs to reduce domestic abuse and with crimes against children.
These are just some of the accomplishments of these highly trained and decorated officers and leaders.
“I chose them not just for their qualifications and experience, but because of the kind of men they are, because they are not just leaders in the department, they’re also leaders with their families and the community. These are the finest we have to offer and I’m proud to work beside them,” Ramsey said.
Also during the Oct. 24 meeting, Valerie Tweedy, Director of Finance for the Town of Christiansburg, presented some changes to the FY 2023-24 Budget in the form of Amendment 1 to the Council members during the public hearing session of the meeting. According to the agenda, the amendment was a rollover of all capital projects and capital items to finalize the previous fiscal year.
Two of the items listed are $15,000 for the new park security gate and $24,800 for design and engineering fees for the Gathering Space Project that is also supported through the Appalachian Regional Commission. There was also an adjustment made for fiber in relation to the wastewater treatment plant.
“So, the total amendment is for $3,226, 245 from the general fund and most of that amendment is rolling over unspent capital projects that will continue into 2024,” Tweedy said. “That totals a little over three million dollars and the remainder is primarily for succession planning, and retirements.”
Additional added budget items mentioned in the agenda are for the previously Council-approved Launch Christiansburg, a reallocation of EMS billing, a new grant-funded item for two new Christiansburg police vehicles, and Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) programs funding.
As part of Council’s public hearing, the Town of Christiansburg has also requested an exchange of a 0.2665-acre property parcel at 1025 West Main St. in Christiansburg with another parcel of equal amount also on West Main Street, by request of owner, Jimmy Martin. The property, formerly recognized as Jack’s Garage by residents, is for the College Street Stormwater Project.
Town Council was presented with information from Ginny Snead, of A. Morton Thomas and Associates, Inc., whose firm has been working with the Town on a Flood Resilience Plan. College Street has historically been an area of flooding concern, as mentioned by Snead in her presentation, and numerous drainage studies have been conducted by the Town. Other studies have been performed as well to assess stormwater management and flood planning for Christiansburg. The Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) also offers the Community Flood Preparedness Fund that can assist areas like Christiansburg in finding a resolution to areas prone to flooding, Snead said.
“There are a number of different types of grants and one of them is capacity and planning,” Snead said. So, that was the first grant that the Town went after with DCR and was successful. So, this plan actually was 95% funded by DCR, which is a pretty nice percentage that they put forward.”
The unanimous approval by Council members will help in setting up the Town for a flood resilience plan that will also ease in applying for future grant money in the aid of flooding preparedness.
Council members approved the road closures for the Veterans Day parade to happen on Friday, Nov. 10 from 8:30 am to 12 p.m. According to Council member Samuel Bishop, the parade route will begin on Main Street and head southeast to Dunley Street. Due to the construction at Christiansburg High School, they will not be able to offer the meal they typically have for veterans, but will have gift bags for those veterans that want to come by and pick one up.