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Roanoke Confederate monument could soon be removed

Monument has been in place since 1960

ROANOKE, Va. – As Gov. Ralph Northam plans to remove the Robert E. Lee statue from Monument Avenue in Richmond, a Confederate monument in Roanoke could also be removed.

Monument in question is the obelisk across the street from Roanoke City Hall in Robert E. Lee Plaza.

The obelisk was dedicated on Oct. 5, 1960, by the United Daughters of the Confederacy.

Roanoke Vice Mayor Joe Cobb said localities having the authority to decide what to do with monuments is something city council members included on their legislative agenda this year.

Starting July 1, localities in Virginia will have the authority to hold a public hearing to decide if they want to remove their monuments.

That leads Cobb to believe council members are ready to remove the monument.

Prior to voting for the monument’s removal, a public hearing would have to be held, said Cobb.

When that would happen is unclear, but the city will have to notify the public of the hearing two weeks before it’s held.

If the monument is removed, council members will have 30 days to decide what to do with it.

“I know council members have been discussing this and we’re looking forward to doing what we can to make it happen,” said Cobb.

Council members had not decided Thursday what may happen to the monument if it is removed.