The Roanoke County Board of Supervisors greenlit $10 million in borrowing Tuesday to support the replacement of a flood-prone public services building.

The project will create a new facility to house the county’s general services and maintenance operations.

Those shops, currently located on Kessler Mill Road, will be moving to a new site on Hollins Road next door to the existing county fleet services center.

The new construction is being designed now and is slated for completion in fiscal year 2020-2021.

Tuesday’s action was part of the county’s scheduled debt plan. The replacement of the general services facilities has been in the pipeline for several years.

Also Tuesday, the county supervisors agreed to ask the planning commission to review whether gun sales should be allowed as a home occupation within Roanoke County.

Cave Spring Supervisor George Assaid made the request but the issue originated with a larger review of the county code.

The county recently took a look at its weapons ordinances after citizens pointed out there were regulations on the books that no longer complied with state statutes, officials said. Virginia is among the states with a preemption law that bars local governments from enforcing stricter gun laws than those imposed by the state.

Roanoke County is working through the process now of making updates to those and other, unrelated local ordinances. A public hearing on the revisions is set for Sept. 24.

The zoning code’s prohibition on firearms sales as a home occupation was initially on the list to be struck on the belief that it conflicted with the pre-emption standard, said Acting County Attorney Peter Lubeck.

But it was ultimately removed when the attorney general’s office issued an unrelated opinion last month concluding that Roanoke County and other localities could enforce zoning ordinances regulating businesses that sell guns.

Assaid, in turn, noted that opinion is advisory and doesn’t carry the force of law. He said he felt the county should conform to the underlying law and asked for the matter to be referred to the planning commission.

Other supervisors didn’t share their thoughts on the issue but agreed to send it to the commission for review. That body would hold a public hearing as part of its process. Dates for those proceedings weren’t immediately set.

In other news, the county was awarded a $3,000 state grant to help supply households with bear-resistant trash can latches.

That grant, which comes from the game and inland fisheries department, helps defray the cost of the bear deterrents, officials said.

Latches are supplied to residents upon request. A one-time fee of $30 for households applies.

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Alicia Petska covers what's happening in Roanoke County and the City of Salem.

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