Steve Heath, a Roanoke City Councilman since 1997, died last month after a battle with aggressive pancreatic cancer. He was 63.
Heath was also a charter member of the Roanoke Economic and Industrial Development Corporation, where he served for 21 years, according to a news release from the city of Roanoke. In both his elected and appointed roles, he was intimately involved with the quality growth and development efforts in the city and was unquestionably passionate about the needs of his constituents. His years of service were marked by passion and leadership qualities that were instrumental in numerous city accomplishments, including:
- 60 acres of developed park land system throughout the City to include multiple major parks, soccer complex, community pool, skate park, splash pads, volleyball courts, tennis courts, and neighborhood pocket parks
- Construction of critical water and sewer infrastructure (water/sewer lines, elevated towers, ground storage, and pump stations) to accommodate peak usage and capacities at City’s build-out
- Construction of needed City facilities to include a Law Enforcement Center, Fire Station, Library and Community Center renovations, Recreation Center, Visitor’s Center and Museum, and a new City Hall/Plaza.
- Adoption and implementation of a phased Master Trail Plan to provide walkability/connectivity to the entire City
- Numerous economic development efforts resulting in a strong commercial/industrial tax base to offset the property tax burden to Roanoke residents
- 1 million square feet of retail development
- 10 million square feet of Industrial development
- 40,000 linear feet of road reconstruction or overlay throughout the City
- 200,000 square feet of restaurant space (68 dining establishments)
- 24 years with no increase to the City’s tax rate, and an assessed valuation property tax base that grew over 1700% during this time.
“Steve always spoke from the heart and did not hold back when he felt that a developer was not looking out for the best interest of our city,” said Mayor Scooter Gierisch. “He had a passion for serving and would have begun his new three-year term at the time of his passing … We will deeply miss his service on the Roanoke City Council and are profoundly grateful for his many years of service as he helped Roanoke become what it is today.”
A memorial service will be held Sunday at 4 p.m. at the North Texas Church of Christ, 1290 FM 407, Northlake.